A view of a chariot, with its iron elements, bronze decorations and mineralized wooden remains, that was found in Civita Giuliana, north of Pompeii. Officials at the Pompeii archaeological site near Naples on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, announced the first-ever discovery of an intact ceremonial chariot, one of several important discoveries made in the same area outside the park following an investigation into an illegal dig. (AP)
A view of a chariot, with its iron elements, bronze decorations and mineralized wooden remains, that was found in Civita Giuliana, north of Pompeii. Officials at the Pompeii archaeological site near Naples on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, announced the first-ever discovery of an intact ceremonial chariot, one of several important discoveries made in the same area outside the park following an investigation into an illegal dig. (AP)

Almost perfectly preserved ancient ceremonial carriage unearthed near Pompeii

The almost perfectly preserved four-wheeled carriage made of iron, bronze and tin was found near the stables of an ancient villa at Civita Giuliana.
Reuters |
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:15 AM IST

Archaeologists have unearthed a unique ancient-Roman ceremonial carriage from a villa just outside Pompeii, the city buried in a volcanic eruption in 79 AD.

The almost perfectly preserved four-wheeled carriage made of iron, bronze and tin was found near the stables of an ancient villa at Civita Giuliana, around 700 metres (yards) north of the walls of ancient Pompeii.

Massimo Osanna, the outgoing director of the Pompeii archaeological site, said the carriage was the first of its kind discovered in the area, which had so far yielded functional vehicles used for transport and work, but not for ceremonies.

Archeologists uncover an ancient ceremonial carriage in a dig near the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, destroyed in 79 AD in volcanic eruption, Italy, February, 2021. Pompeii Archeological Park.(via REUTERS)
Archeologists uncover an ancient ceremonial carriage in a dig near the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, destroyed in 79 AD in volcanic eruption, Italy, February, 2021. Pompeii Archeological Park.(via REUTERS)


"This is an extraordinary discovery that advances our understanding of the ancient world," Osanna said, adding that the carriage would have "accompanied festive moments for the community, (such as) parades and processions".

The culture ministry called it "a unique find, without any precedent in Italy".

Pompeii, 23 km (14 miles) southeast of Naples, was home to about 13,000 people when it was buried under ash, pumice pebbles and dust as it endured the force of an eruption equivalent to many atomic bombs.

An ancient-Roman ceremonial carriage is discovered in a dig near the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, destroyed in 79 AD in volcanic eruption, Italy, February, 2021. Pompeii Archeological Park.(via REUTERS)
An ancient-Roman ceremonial carriage is discovered in a dig near the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, destroyed in 79 AD in volcanic eruption, Italy, February, 2021. Pompeii Archeological Park.(via REUTERS)


About two-thirds of the 66-hectare (165-acre) ancient town has been uncovered. The ruins were not discovered until the 16th century and organised excavations began in about 1750.

"Pompeii continues to amaze us with its discoveries and it will do so for many years, with 20 hectares still to be dug up," said Culture Minister Dario Franceschini.

A rare documentation of Greco-Roman life, Pompeii is one of Italy's most popular attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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