Gladiators – A Cemetery of Secrets explores York’s Roman past through the skeletal remains of six men buried in a cemetery on the outskirts of the city. Who were they? Where did they come from? And how did they die?

When the site was excavated in 2004-5, archaeologists were so intrigued by the evidence that further investigation was needed. Research continues to uncover more about who these men were, where they came from and how they died, questioning whether they were criminals, soldiers, slaves or gladiators.

The exhibition allows visitors to get up close to these fascinating discoveries and assess the evidence for themselves through a range of AV material, including facial reconstructions, CT scans and interviews. They can also learn more about the Roman period through replica helmets and weapons as well as unique archaeological finds. Our family-friendly area is themed as a Roman marketplace, complete with associated activities and games.

You can read our Gladiators Case Study here to see how we partnered with Durham County Council to bring our exhibition to Bishop Auckland Town Hall.


Gladiators Technical Specifications

Exhibitions are designed for spaces between 150 and 200 square metres. However, the nature of our exhibitions allows for them to be adapted to fit smaller or larger spaces, with a bespoke design for your venue included as standard.

The exact exhibition content is reviewed on a venue-by-venue by basis. Previous exhibitions have included:

  • A selection of original artefacts
  • Showpiece item
  • Themed family-friendly area with activities
  • Interpretation panels and labels
  • Bespoke site-specific content
  • Replica items
  • AV material

Please note that due to the nature of the original artefacts provided, including human remains, certain environmental and display criteria will apply. Full details of these will be provided by our curatorial team.

For more information please see our Essential Information page here. 

Get in Touch

To see how we can work with your venue, please contact Chris Tuckley, Head of Interpretation and Engagement, [email protected]