Another Exceptional Discovery!
A 2,000-year-old ceremonial chariot, almost intact, has recently been unearthed in Pompeii, a vast archaeological site in southern Italy’s Campania region near the coast of the Bay of Naples. Archaeologists have claimed that it is an “exceptional and unprecedented discovery“, as there hasn’t been such an important discovery in Italy before this. It seems that the chariot was used during festivals…
Archaeologists, involved in excavation works near the ruins of the Roman city of Pompeii, have revealed that the elaborately decorated, intact four-wheeled ceremonial chariot is made of iron, and decorated with bronze and lovely carved wood. According to them, it was parked in front of a stable near the city wall in the northern part of Pompeii. The ancient Roman city of Pompeii was famously destroyed because of the catastrophic volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. It seems that the chariot was spared when the walls and roof of the structure collapsed after the eruption. A couple of months ago, archaeologists had discovered remains of three horses at the same place, called Civita Giulian, outside the walls of the ancient city near Naples.
Eric Poehler, a Professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an expert on traffic in Pompeii, said: “I was astounded. Many of the vehicles (previously discovered) are your standard station wagon or vehicle for taking the kids to soccer.” He added: “This is a Lamborghini. This is an outright fancy, fancy car. This is precisely the kind of find that one wants to find at Pompeii, the really well-articulated, very well-preserved moments in time.” Meanwhile, Archaeologist Jane Draycott of the University of Glasgow tweeted: “My jaw is on the floor just now! Still wrapping my head around the latest incredible discovery. The details are extraordinary.“
The history of the destruction of the city of Pompeii is very popular in Italy and other parts of Europe. Hence, miscreants visit the place on a regular basis to loot the ancient valuable materials. The Italian Police detained some miscreants in 2017. During interrogations, they revealed that they had dug multiple tunnels near the archaeological site. They used those tunnels to bring various antiquities from the site and secretly sold them.
Earlier, Archaeologists had come across some vehicles, used to transport crops, in that area. However, this is the first time when a ceremonial chariot has been discovered. After examining the decoration, structure and other features of the chariot, Historians have come to the conclusion that it might have been used in ceremonies, such as processions and marches. They also believe that the chariot was used to carry brides to their new homes.
In a statement, the Archaeological Park of Pompeii said that the chariot survived looting by antiquities thieves, who did not even damage the four-wheeled cart. For his part, the Park’s outgoing Director Massimo Osanna stated: “What we have is a ceremonial chariot, probably the Pilentum referred to by some sources, which was employed not for everyday use or for agricultural transport, but to accompany community festivities, parades and processions.” He stressed: “This type of chariot, which has never before emerged from Italian soil, bears comparison with finds uncovered around 15 years ago inside a burial mound in Thrace (in northern Greece, near the Bulgarian border). One of the Thracian chariots is particularly similar to ours, even if it lacks the extraordinary figurative decorations that accompany the Pompeian find.“
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