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May 18, 2024

Ancient luxury: An unearthed Pompeii chariot, Lamborghini of those times

Ruhi Gilder
Archaeologists have unearthed a unique, ancient Roman ceremonial carriage from a villa just outside Pompeii in Civita GiulianaA large chariot with four iron wheels, metal arm and backrests adorned with beautiful bronze and tin decorations, imprints of ropes and the remains of floral decoration survive the test of time.  
Courtesy: Archaeological Park of Pompeii
“I was astounded,” Eric Poehler, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Author of ‘The traffic systems of Pompeii’, told NPR, “Many of the vehicles I’d written about before… are your standard station wagon or vehicle for taking the kids to soccer. This is a Lamborghini. This is an outright fancy, fancy car.” 
The chariot was miraculously spared the collapse of the walls and ceiling of the room as well as the illegal digging activities near the area. It is richly decorated along both sides with an alternating engraved bronze sheet and red and black painted wooden panels. The rear features medallions depicting nymphs, satyrs, and cupids in erotic scenes. 
Courtesy: Archaeological Park of Pompeii
The Bronze medallions (Archaeological Park of Pompeii)
In 2018, the stable adjoining the chariot was excavated and the remains of 3 horses were found, including one with a rich bronze harness. 
Almost 2,000 years ago, 79 AD Mother Nature wreaked havoc on a prosperous city nestled in the Naples region. Today, archaeologists continue to discover wonders of ancient life and habits within the ruins of that city, once buried under 13 to 20 ft of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.  
Courtesy: Archaeological Park of Pompeii
 “It is an extraordinary discovery for the advancement of our knowledge of the ancient world”, declared Massimo Osanna, outgoing Director of the Archaeological Park. He also mentions, “one cannot exclude the possibility that this could have been a chariot used for rituals relating to marriage, for leading the bride to her new household.”
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Ruhi Gilder


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