By MICHAEL HAVIS / dailymail.co.uk

  • – Archaeologists located the arena among the ruins of the ancient city of Mastaura
  • – It had been partially buried and then covered over by trees and other vegetation
  • – The building housed waiting rooms for gladiators and rooms for elite visitors
  • – Experts believe that the arena was built during the time of the Severan dynasty

Archaeologists have uncovered a Roman arena in Turkey that was ‘just like Rome’s Colosseum’ and would have hosted gladiator fights for some 20,000 spectators.

The find, a national first, was revealed as part of excavations of Mastaura, an ancient city in Aydin Province. The arena was partly buried and hidden by vegetation.

Its remains are well preserved and — as with the Colosseum — was built round, rather than in the half-moon shape typical of many ancient amphitheatres.

Rome’s Colosseum, however — which began construction in 70 AD for emperor Vespasian — was larger, housing an estimated 50,000–80,000 spectators in total.

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