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Exceptional Roman Chariot Found

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

The chariot - which was buried in the ash of the Vesuvius eruption in AD 79 - was lucky to have escaped the depredations of looters.

Remains of Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius in the background

Archeologists have described as “exceptional” the discovery of an ancient Roman chariot, decorated with male and female erotic figures, near the town of Pompeii. The large, four-wheeled ceremonial chariot was found in the remains of a villa to the north of the ancient Roman town, which was buried in ash after the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in AD 79.

“This is an exceptional discovery, not only because it adds an additional element to the history of this dwelling and the story of the last moments in the lives of those who lived in it, but above all because it represents a unique find - which has no parallel in Italy thus far - in an excellent state of preservation,” they said.

Decorated with cupids, nymphs and satyrs, it could have been used in parades or as a way of conveying a wealthy bride to her wedding, experts said.

The chariot, known in Latin as a piletum, would have been used by the Roman elite for ceremonies and would have carried one or two people. Archeologists unearthed the iron components of the chariot as well as “beautiful bronze and tin decorations and mineralised wood remains,” they said in a statement.


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