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by Archaeology Newsroom

The games

There were two kinds of javelin throwing contest in antiquity. The far-shooting contest and the contest of aim. Runners ran in the stadium, they also ran the double course, they raced on horseback, there was the long course and the race where athletes ran wearing armour. Women also ran races. In the long jump athletes held weights, the alteres, the better to improve their balance. There were two kinds of wrestling match; upright wrestling and wrestling on the ground. Other main contests were the pentathlon, the pancration (a combination of wrestling and boxing),and chariot races. There was the four-horsed chariot race, the four-wheeled chariot race, the two-horsed, the chariot race with four colts and with two colts. There were contests held with athletes on horseback. Such races were the race of perfect racehorses, the racing of colts and the kalpi, a race on horseback where at some point the rider jumped off the horse and ran alongside the steed to the end of the course.