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The Female Gladiator

In a German museum stands an interesting lady. She wears only a loincloth, and her arm is raised while clutching a curved object. Nobody knows where the bronze statuette came from, but she was cast around 2,000 years ago.

At first, the woman was believed to be an athlete holding a strigil, a scraping tool used to clean the body. But why wield it in the air while staring at the ground?

Instead, researchers are optimistic that this could be an incredibly rare depiction of a female gladiator. Weapon-wise, the object also resembled the gladiator sword called a sica. The arm gesture fit with the salute that victorious fighters gave the crowd, and this could explain her downward stare—at a defeated opponent.

She also had a bandaged knee, a common trend among gladiators. It is possible that the lifelike statue represented an actual woman in the past. If confirmed as such, it will only be the second art piece showing a female gladiator.

The Female Gladiator is found in...

Top 10 Intriguing Images From Ancient Art
( 10 items )
Item Position (rank): 10