Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Divers make surprising discovery


Teesdale Mercury
October 18, 2005

AN image of a Roman gladiator wearing only a G-string has been dug from the bed of the River Tees.

Broken Roman pottery, decorated with the picture, was recovered from the river at Piercebridge. Archaeologists believe the figure of a gladiator, who also appears to be holding a whip, may be the first of its kind ever discovered.

Philippa Walton, who works for the Portable Antiquities Scheme, said: "The pottery sherd depicts a man wearing a G-string and holding a whip. The sherd is a fragment from a larger vessel, probably a beaker."

Similar pottery has been found before depicting some gladiatorial scenes, some quite pornographic, but I can't think of an example where the gladiator only wears a G-string.

Divers Rolfe Hutchinson and Bob Middlemass came across the figure. Over the past 20 years the pair have uncovered thousands of ancient artefacts from the river while diving.


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