2,300 Year Old 'Athlete's Tomb' Found Intact Outside Rome

Once you see something memorable, you'll never be able to unsee it. This is truly amazing that we have been buying BS like this for generations, and will continue buying for more generations to come. Unfortunately, levels of exposure our efforts get are miniscule. What we have below is the PTB version of a story (from 2018) titled:
‘The Tomb of the Athlete’ includes four bodies, a coin, offerings of chicken, rabbit and lamb and strigils, the symbol of Roman sportsmen.


The burial site, discovered in the Case Rosse area to the west of the city centre, has been named the 'Tomb of the Athlete' because of a distinctive finding amongst the other funeral offerings: alongside the remains of four people, archaeologists discovered two strigils, a type of metal hook that Ancient Romans used to scrape off sweat and dirt after exerting themselves, especially in sport.

Strigils were commonly used by individuals who were engaging in vigorous activities, in which they accumulated large amounts of dirt and sweat on their bodies. The people who used the strigil included athletes, the wealthy, soldiers, and more. However, wealthy or prestigious individuals often had slaves to wield the strigils and clean their bodies, rather than doing it themselves.

Dating from the 4th century BC, the tomb came to light during excavations to extend an aqueduct.
  • Having spotted the chamber just two meters below ground level via a laser survey, specialists were amazed to find it perfectly intact, complete with offerings of chicken, rabbit and what's believed to be lamb.
  • Other items buried alongside the three men and one woman inside include plates, jugs, fragments of pottery and a bronze coin, stamped on one side with the goddess of wisdom, Minerva, and on the other with a horse's head and the word: "ROMANO".

Little is known about the human occupants: two of the men, one aged around 50 and the other in his 30s, were laid out on counters inside the burial chamber, while another man aged between 35-45 and a woman of unknown years were found on the ground.


KD: Here is my interpretation of this "discovery":
  • There was a house. This house was occupied by a family of four. They were having dinner.
  • For dinner they had some chicken, some rabbit and some lamb. And whatever else those jugs and plates could contain.
    • There was this strigil device hanging on a wall.
  • While eating, they heard something happening outside.
  • Two individuals got up to see what was causing the noise.
  • At this very moment their house became inundated with liquid mud.
  • The house, probably, was partially crushed by the weight and power of the mud, thus burying the occupants under 6 feet of dirt.
  • Many years later, some construction workers stumbled into this gruesome scene.
  • Pseudo-archaeologists announced that it was a burial site, meaning that construction workers discovered a tomb.
Well, something like this...
Well, something like this...
No, it's great. Very Columbo. If it could, the mud would be confessing its guilt now.

It is funny how animal remains have to always be ritualistic. I mean, people have (and do) make sacrifices, but as I think Freud said, sometimes a chicken is just delicious.

Jokes aside, I actually wanted to comment on this because of the strigil. I had not heard of this before and that's fascinating, not least of which the name. But the real question is... is that seriously the best way to clean yourself? Seems potentially awkward, painful, and inefficient. Did they comb their hair with a garden rake too? Silly ancients, better go appease your chicken god.
The ancient historian Suetonius points out that Emperor Augustus himself developed marks on his body due to his “vigorous use of the strigil”.
What neat things we have records of, I hope history has recorded how much Joe Biden exfoliates (Trump's skincare routine is legendary, of course). Though I'm sure KD could enlighten us to the provenance of this Suetonius character's supposed writings.
Though I'm sure KD could enlighten us to the provenance of this Suetonius character's supposed writings.
Well, if the info came from the Twelve Caesars, then one part of the answer is there in the wiki:
  • The oldest surviving copy of The Twelve Caesars was made in Tours in the late 8th or early 9th Century AD, and is currently held in the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
  • It is missing the prologue and the first part of the life of Julius Caesar, as are all other surviving copies of the book.
    • Including the Tours manuscript, there are nineteen surviving copies of The Twelve Caesars from the 13th century or earlier.
  • The presence of certain errors in some copies but not others suggests that the nineteen books can be split into two branches of transmission of roughly equal size.
The PTB claims that Sietonius died some time after 122 AD. That would mean that the oldest surviving "copy" was written at least 500 years after his death. It's like if we were to produce a text about Columbus today.

I did not look for when this allegedly "8th, or 9th century AD" copy was located, but I can bet just about anything it happened after 1400, and the date is our regular "dating" technique.

Discovery dates pertaining to some of the Suetonius' works are mentioned here:
Just some food for thought pertaining to the "dating"



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