A Ceremonial Chariot Has Been Discovered Near Pompeii

Nyma E., Global News Co-Editor

Italian archeologists have unveiled a ceremonial chariot near the Roman city of Pompeii. Other chariots, used for travel and work, have been discovered in the area, but this is the first chariot of this kind that has been uncovered near Pompeii, leading to the excitement of archeologists worldwide. 

Pompeii is an ancient Roman city, preserved by the volcanic ash spewed by Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The ash that Mt Vesuvius erupted almost perfectly preserved many of the city’s buildings, artifacts, and even residents. Archeologists began excavating Pompeii in 1738, and around 30% is still buried. 

The chariot first emerged on January 7 near stables, where in 2018, three horses were found. Special techniques had to be used to safely excavate it, leading to the excavation taking weeks. The villa where the chariot was found was discovered in 2017 when authorities discovered illegal tunnels leading to the site. The local prosecutor’s office has been involved in the excavation because criminals have been trying to use these tunnels to loot the site. 

The Archaeological Park of Pompeii remarked on the chariot as “an exceptional discovery” and said, “it represents a unique find – which has no parallel in Italy thus far – in an excellent state of preservation.”

The chariot is decorated with medallions of satyrs, nymphs, and cupids, which has led many archeologists to believe that it may have been used in marriage ceremonies; to bring brides to their new homes. This chariot is much more ornate than other chariots found in the area, with bronze, iron, and wooden elements. It is very well preserved, having all four wheels, metal armrests, backrests, and a seat. Archeologists believe that it is in such good condition because it was kept under a portico. 

The discovery of this one-of-a-kind chariot has excited archeologists worldwide. With Jan Draycott of the University of Glasgow writing, “My jaw is on the floor just now!”.

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