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Roman Boxing Gloves Discovered at Vindolanda

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Roman boxing glovesNORTHUMBERLAND, ENGLAND—BBC News reports that two leather boxing gloves have been unearthed at Vindolanda, a Roman fort located in northern England, just south of Hadrian’s Wall. Andrew Birley, director of excavations at Vindolanda, said Roman boxing gloves have been seen on statues and sculptures, but he thinks these gloves may be the only surviving examples from the period. The two gloves are thought to have been used for sparring, but were probably not a matched pair. They are of different sizes, and the smaller one contains a coil of hard, twisted leather, while the larger was filled with natural material that may have served as a kind of shock absorber. Gloves used in Roman boxing competitions are thought to have had metal inserts. For more on discoveries at Vindolanda, go to “Life on the Frontier.”

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