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The hidden history of Rome’s Colosseum, revealed

Manuel Cohen | AFP

Zelda Caldwell - published on 04/13/17

What went on there after the fall of the Roman Empire?

What happened in Rome’s Colosseum, after the Empire fell?

That’s the subject of a new exhibition in Rome that came about after archaeologists, while restoring the great amphitheater, discovered evidence that a large wooden walkway was built across it.

The discovery shed light on the hidden history of the Colosseum during the Middle Ages. That walkway turned out to be part of a fortress built by the Frangipane family in the 12th century, according to the report.

“Millions of tourists come here each year to learn about the Roman period but they have little idea of how the Colosseum was used during the medieval era,” Riccardo Santangeli Valenzani, one of the curators of the new exhibition, told The Telegraph.

Later, when days of gladitorial battles (and maybe the Frangipanes themselves) were long forgotten, the Colosseum seemed to serve a role as a kind of giant marketplace, and was filled with workshops, stables, slaughterhouses and storehouses. There was also evidence of wool being spun, and jewelry being sold, according to the Telegraph.

The exhibition, entitled “The Colosseum – An Icon,” will be open in Rome until January 2018.

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