Gladiatorial games, the bloodiest of ancient Rome's traditions, were probably held in the heart of genteel Cheshire, archaeologists say.
Experts have unearthed evidence in the remains of Chester Amphitheatre which suggests gladiators appeared there. It was previously thought the arena was only used for ceremonial activities.
But archaeologists have found a stone block with iron fastening, suggesting that victims - human or animal - were chained up for gladiatorial spectacles.
Further evidence was uncovered in the form of a pair of giant cotton buds.