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奧地利科學界研究發現力大無窮古羅馬角鬥士是素食者
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奧地利科學界研究發現力大無窮古羅馬角鬥士是素食者
  新華網 稿件來源: 新華網
 

    新華網北京電 古羅馬角鬥場上的勇士,其形象和生活可能與我們的想象有很大不同。奧地利科學家研究了迄今發掘的最大古羅馬角鬥士墓地中的遺骨,發現角鬥士是一群體重超標的素食者,以大麥和豆類為主要食物。

    據英國《每日電訊報》報道,這個最近剛發現的古羅馬角鬥士墓地位于土耳其西海岸,在古羅馬的小亞細亞首府以弗所附近。維也納大 學的研究人員對墓地中70多具遺體的骨骼做了化學分析,發現骨骼中鍶的含量高,鋅的含量低。如果是肉類與蔬菜搭配的正常飲食,骨骼中微量元素鍶、鋅的含量 應該是均衡的。研究人員推斷,古羅馬角鬥士長期以大麥和豆類為主要食物。這解開了學術界一個長久的困惑,即為什麼古羅馬人稱角鬥士為“嚼大麥者”。

    此外,古羅馬鑲嵌畫中角鬥士的形象都矮壯笨重,學者們一直以為這是為了表現角鬥士的雄性氣概,並非對他們身材的如實描繪。新研究則 發現,角鬥士的確體重超標。維也納大學的法醫人類學家卡爾格羅斯施密特認為,角鬥士每天攝入足量的大麥和豆類來讓身體肥胖而且強壯,這可以減輕身體遭受外 來打擊時所受的損傷,因為脂肪層對神經和血管有保護作用。

    研究還發現,角鬥士的骨密度顯著高于普通人,這與現代運動員是一樣的。腳部骨骼的增大特別明顯,顯示他們在角鬥場的沙地上是赤腳作 戰。研究人員從骨骼分析結果中還注意到,角鬥士在角鬥前體重會增加而非降低,這與加強訓練造成的效果剛好相反,表明角鬥之前並不會進行激烈訓練。此前人們 認為,角鬥士的日常訓練和場上競技同樣嚴酷。(完)

Science News
from research organizations

Roman Gladiators ate a mostly vegetarian diet and drank a tonic of ashes after training

Date:
October 20, 2014
Source:
Medical University of Vienna
Summary:
Roman gladiators ate a mostly vegetarian diet and drank ashes after training as a tonic. These are the findings of anthropological investigations carried out on bones of warriors found during excavations in the ancient city of Ephesos.
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Anthropology unlocks clues about Roman gladiators' eating habits.
Credit: OEAI, Pietsch

Roman gladiators ate a mostly vegetarian diet and drank ashes after training as a tonic. These are the findings of anthropological investigations carried out on bones of warriors found during excavations in the ancient city of Ephesos.

Historic sources report that gladiators had their own diet. This comprised beans and grains. Contemporary reports referred to them as "hordearii" ("barley eaters").

In a study by the Department of Forensic Medicine at the MedUni Vienna in cooperation with the Department of Anthropology at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Bern, bones were examined from a gladiator cemetery uncovered in 1993 which dates back to the 2nd or 3rd century BC in the then Roman city of Ephesos (now in modern-day Turkey). At the time, Ephesos was the capital of the Roman province of Asia and had over 200,000 inhabitants.

Using spectroscopy, stable isotope ratios (carbon, nitrogen and sulphur) were investigated in the collagen of the bones, along with the ratio of strontium to calcium in the bone mineral.

The result shows that gladiators mostly ate a vegetarian diet. There is virtually no difference in terms of nutrition from the local "normal population." Meals consisted primarily of grain and meat-free meals. The word "barley eater" relates in this case to the fact that gladiators were probably given grain of an inferior quality.

Build-up drink following physical exertion

The difference between gladiators and the normal population is highly significant in terms of the amount of strontium measured in their bones. This leads to the conclusion that the gladiators had a higher intake of minerals from a strontium-rich source of calcium. The ash drink quoted in literature probably really did exist. "Plant ashes were evidently consumed to fortify the body after physical exertion and to promote better bone healing," explains study leader Fabian Kanz from the Department of Forensic Medicine at the MedUni Vienna. "Things were similar then to what we do today -- we take magnesium and calcium (in the form of effervescent tablets, for example) following physical exertion." Calcium is essential for bone building and usually occurs primarily in milk products.

A further research project is looking at the migration of gladiators, who often came from different parts of the Roman Empire to Ephesos. The researchers are hoping that comparison of the bone data from gladiators with that of the local fauna will yield a number of differences.


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Medical University of Vienna. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sandra Lösch, Negahnaz Moghaddam, Karl Grossschmidt, Daniele U. Risser, Fabian Kanz. . , October 15, 2014 DOI: Stable Isotope and Trace Element Studies on Gladiators and Contemporary Romans from Ephesus (Turkey, 2nd and 3rd Ct. AD) - Implications for Differences in DietPLoS ONE10.1371/journal.pone.0110489

Cite This Page:

Medical University of Vienna. "Roman Gladiators ate a mostly vegetarian diet and drank a tonic of ashes after training." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141020090006.htm>.

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