Thursday, August 03, 2017

Buried at the Carthage racetrack

NEO-PUNIC WATCH: Buried at the Racetracks: 1,500-year-old Grave Discovered at Carthage Circus. The ancient Carthaginians were so obsessed with gambling that some may have chosen the races as their final resting place, archaeologists suspect (Phillippe Bohstrom, Haaretz).
How crazy do you have to be about gambling to have your nearest and dearest inter you at the racetrack? Archaeologists excavating the ancient Roman racing course in the North African city of Carthage have found a burial in the heart of the spectator section in the bleachers around 1,500 years ago.

Whether or not the deceased was a dice-crazed adult remains to be seen, but the choice of venue was certainly striking.

You can't take it with you, but you can try to stay.

The article includes some information on curse tablets (intended to influence the races) and on ancient gambling. It also reports on some older, Punic, remains found at the site.

I noted another story on the archaeology of the Carthage Circus here.

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