Archaeologists in the Spanish city of Cordoba have uncovered beneath the university's old veterinary faculty Europe's biggest Roman amphitheatre after the Coliseum.
Ancient, Theatres - Amphitheatre
The find, considered to be "of transcendental importance", dates from the first century AD, when Corduba, as it was then known, was the provincial capital of Betica, today's Andalusia, in imperial Hispania. "We initially thought it was a circus, the circular arena the Romans used for horse races and chariot rides," says Desiderio Vaquerizo, professor of architecture at Cordoba University. "But we discovered it was an immense oval amphitheatre - 178m by 145m and up to 20m high - that would have been used for gladiatorial contests and other bloodthirsty spectacles."