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2,000-Year-Old Chariot Recovered from Pompeii’s Ashes

Monday, March 1, 2021

Pompeii ChariotNAPLES, ITALY—BBC News reports that a pilentum, or ceremonial chariot, has been unearthed at the villa of Civita Giuliana on the outskirts of Pompeii, near the site of a stable where the remains of three horses, one still wearing harness gear, have previously been found. The four-wheeled vehicle, which was discovered in a double-level portico connected to the stable, is thought to have been used in festivities and parades. The chariot was made with iron components, and embellished with ornate bronze and tin decorations. Researchers also poured plaster into voids left in the ash by decomposed materials to preserve imprints of ropes, floral decorations, and other organic items. “Considering that the ancient sources allude to the use of the pilentum by priestesses and ladies, 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,” said Massimo Osanna, director of the Pompeii Archaeological Park. To read about another recent discovery from Civita Giuliana, go to "More Vesuvius Victims."

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