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Oh no... Not Again! Female 'gladiator' remains found in Herefordshire

Quote:Archaeologists in Herefordshire have uncovered the remains of what could possibly be a female gladiator.
Amongst the evidence of a Roman suburb in Credenhill, they have found the grave of a massive, muscular woman.
She was found in an elaborate wooden coffin, reinforced with iron straps and copper strips, which indicate her importance.
Her remains were found in a crouched position, in what could be a suburb of the nearby Roman town of Kenchester.
The archaeological Project Manager, Robin Jackson, said: "When we first looked at the leg and arm bones, the muscle attachments suggested it was quite a strapping big bloke, but the pelvis and head, and all the indicators of gender, say it's a woman."

Yup... thats enough for me Wink ... pity she had no tiger teeth bites!

That said, the rest of the site looks good

Read the whole story here:
Robin Jackson, senior project manager from Worcestershire council's Historic Environment and Archaeology Service, was excavating at the site. He said: “We've been working on the site for three months now and four burials have been found under a building. One of these is slightly unusual, in that it contains the remains of a woman who was very strongly built. She had obviously done hard physical work during her life, suggesting possibly a peasant labourer, but the anomaly is that she is buried in a slightly higher status coffin.”

It would be laughable if not so terrible reporting
To be honest, I'll start to worry about the standard of local reporting sometime after the 'profession' starts to sort itself out...

(gallic shrug of general indifference and ennui emoticon not available...)
From the photo-the individual doesn`t appear to be "big". The diggers arms are bigger. Biological sex can be determined from skeletal material-gender as a social construct cannot be determined from skeletal material. This is not a crouched burial-the legs are slightly flexed-big difference. Muscle attachments do not make a gladiator.......any more than an excavator desperate to clinch a sensationalist coup can read skeletal remains. Apparently then..... any skeletal material found to exhibit strong muscle attachments are hereonin to be classified as gladiators. Brilliant. Just fantastic. It might be worth consulting with a professional osteologist before reaching for the bat-phone and jumping on the fantasy bandwagon. If its coverage and media interest the excavators are looking for.......they are to be congratulated for highlighting the absurdities that abound today.:face-approve:
To be fair... it does seem to be the BBC who have created the Gladiator..

See this new article here:

and this quote from the Director...
Quote:The Female Gladiator?

The BBC reported yesterday that the burial could possibly be that of a female gladiator.
This is highly unlikely, according to Robin Jackson. He said: “There are no weapons buried in the grave with her, nor are there any icons that gladiators often had buried with them. There isn't even any evidence of an arena at Kenchester, so there is no evidence suggesting this was a female gladiator.”
So there are few similarities between the strong woman buried near Hereford and the grave of the female gladiator excavated in London near the Roman arena.
Is there a more rational explanation for this female burial near Hereford?
At this stage, very little can be said with certainty but Mr Jackson would bet money on her not being a female gladiator: “That is very unlikely,” he said. “A much more likely explanation is that she was born into a peasant family in Roman-occupied Britain, but then made a good marriage and was buried in a well made coffin.”
Then without reservation- my apologies go to Mr Jackson.

Seems to be the case that we should collectively agree on a system of press releases. In this way, any journies into fantasia on the part of the press can be dealt with appropriately. If we allow the press to write our history then we are in real trouble. Ridicule is not something we need when the recession could still bite deep into an already wounded industry. Thanks for the correction Mr Hosty.:face-approve:
Why is it that any hint at a 'Gladiator' kicks off loads of press speculation?

The reference to the London 'female gladiator' in the speech bubble above links to an article in Heritage-Key which states this:

Quote:The site, at 159 Great Dover Street in Southwark, was excavated in 2000 by the British Museum. The grave sparked some controversy and debate, because it seemed fairly clear from the contents that it was the grave of a great gladiator. And yet it was in Southwark which, I hate to break it to residents of that fine Borough, has never exactly been a salubrious part of the city.
It turns out that women were a rarity in the male world of gladiators - they would go top of the bill at the Colosseum as a special "treat". So, typically, the female who works in a traditionally male job paid not only with her life (hazard of the job, fair enough) but with her "respectability". Hence, the speculation is, she rose to greatness in the arenas of Europe, and was honored hugely, but, because she was "just" a woman and shouldn't have been seen out in leather armour in front of the jeering masses, she was buried somewhere a little bit out of the spotlight.

Leaving aside the obvious; site excavated by MOLAS in 1996-7 not the BM, extra-mural roadside cemeteries common practice in the Roman world, loads of speculation about the deceased's lifestyle etc. I have never worked in London but I remember watching the inevitable one hour TV special on the 'Worlds only Female Gladiator', and comparing its claims with the Great Dover Street site monograph which references 'gladiators, female' just once on Page 28:

Quote:The presence of the fallen gladiator lamp adds a further dimension to the picture, and it might be significant that in the arena slaves dressed as Mercury Psychopompus or Charon dragged away the fallen bodies. The cremated remains are those of a woman and one should consider the possibility that she was a gladiator, a practice which may have been more common than is generally realised... Clearly an interpretation of the cremation burial as that of a female gladiator can only be speculative and may indeed be too simplistic. An alternative, and perhaps more acceptable interpretation, is that the lamp symbolises funeral games, the origin of gladiatorial combat in Republican times
Mackinder, A, 2000, A Romano-British cemetery on Watling Street: Excavations at 165 Great Dover Street, Southwark, London, Museum of London Archaeology Service Archaeology Studies Series 4, p28

I think to be fair, I seem to recall that the programme cited some additional botanical evidence as well.
Dam but sometimes I love BAJR Forum... such a wealth of knowledge.

And fear not Troll.. I think the BBC are the ones to blame here!
It's just a fact that newspapers don't report news, they report what will sell more of their dire little rags. If it sells because of inaccurate reporting, the retraction is on p. 49 in very small print.

The media only exist to serve themselves (in general), if accurate or intelligent reporting were the requirement, we'd all be reading papers with engravings and curly letters in the headlines. The BBC are as bad as the rest, the things they present as fact or even as informative are depressingly aimed at the hard-of-thinking.
Prime practitioner of headology, with a side order of melting glass with a stern glare.

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