According to the archaeologists who made the find, the Romans used to train in boxing to keep fit and perfect their fighting skills.
The Romans were boxers, according to a statement from Vindolanda’s official website, a digging site located in the north of England near Hadrian’s Wall. Boxing gloves were discovered by archaeologists, as were about 60 writing tablets and other leather shoes from Roman times.
These ancient boxing gloves are said to be extremely rare by the researchers, who were able to determine the fact that the Romans practiced this activity as a martial art. The existence of this practice has been confirmed by means of period paintings, mosaics and bronze statues. It was used to train soldiers in combat, increase their capabilities and keep them fit. It turns out that this is the first time that such gloves are found.
“Items like gloves are very intimate with the Romans of Vindolanda. You can still put your hands in the gloves and see how the owner’s joints have molded the leather,” said Patricia Birley, director of Vindolanda Trust to the local media Chronicle Live.
On the other hand, it is clear that it is not really a pair of proper gloves. Indeed, the researchers noticed that one of the two gloves was larger than the other, which suggests that it is two gloves that belonged to two different soldiers.
The larger of the two gloves was made from a single piece of leather and the latter has a patch, but it was probably kept by its owner because of a possible sentimental value. The smallest was found in perfect condition, designed the same way but padded with twisted wires.