Lion elevator restored at Rome’s Colosseum

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An ancient elevator that carried lions and other animals into Rome’s Colosseum for fights with gladiators has been restored by experts.

Lion elevator restored at Rome's Colosseum
An actress stands in the lift to show how both the animals and humans 
were transported to the arena [Credit: AP]

The manually-operated hoist was used to raise wild animals into the amphitheater in the 1st and 3rd centuries A.D. Restoration of the device — one of 24 that existed in the famous arena — took 15 months.

Lion elevator restored at Rome's Colosseum
The replica lift, which was used to transport animals, was built
using ancient 

Roman technology by a team of archaeologists and engineers 
 in the Colosseum [Credit: EPA]

“This must have been an amazing spectacle, made even more amazing by the fact that it took eight men to operate each of the 24 lifts, plus two or three others to keep the ropes in check,” said Rossella Rea, archaeological director at the Colosseum. “We are talking about more than 200 people needed to lift animals in the arena.”

Lion elevator restored at Rome's Colosseum
Archaeologists and engineers work on the replica of the animal lift 
in the centre of Rome’s Colosseum [Credit: EPA]

Gary Glassman, director of “Colosseum Death Trap,” a film about the project, said: “If ancient Rome has a Facebook page, the Colosseum would be in its profile picture. Being part of history is priceless.”

Among the animals lifted into the site were lions, leopards, bears, wolves, ostriches and deer. Bones and skulls of these animals were found in the basement of the Colosseum by archaeologists.

Author: Claudio Lavanga | Source: NBC News [June 08, 2015]

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