Ancient chariot unearthed at Pompeii | News | DW | 27.02.2021

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Ancient chariot unearthed at Pompeii

The chariot is the first of its kind to be found in its entirety. Experts at the ancient city, buried by volcanic lava in 79, have discovered similar items in the years since it was discovered.

Archaeologists on Saturday unearthed more than they bargained for in the Italian city of Pompeii.

Officials at the ancient site uncovered a perfectly intact ceremonial chariot — complete with bronze decorations of "erotic images" of men and women.

They said the new find is the first ceremonial chariot unearthed in its entirety.

Pompeii was buried by lava brimming from a volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in  A.D. 79.

The area has produced several jaw-dropping archaeological discoveries since it was discovered in the 18th century.

A "snack bar" eatery was uncovered at the end of last year by experts.

"Pompeii continues to amaze us with its finds, and so it will be for many years to come with 20 hectares (49 acres) still to be excavated," Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said.

The chariot is one of several important finds made in the same area outside the park near Naples following an investigation into an illegal dig.

An ancient-Roman ceremonial carriage is discovered in a dig near the ancient Roman city of Pompeii

Thieves had dug tunnels near the chariot but did not damage it

Archaeologists last year found in the same area on the outskirts of Pompeii the skeletal remains of what are believed to have been a wealthy man and his male slave, attempting to escape death.

The chariot survived looting by modern-day antiquities thieves, who had dug tunnels through to the site, grazing but not damaging the four-wheeled cart, according to park officials.

Archaeologists believe the cart was used for festivities and parades, perhaps also to carry brides to their new homes.

Two people who live in the houses atop of the area are currently on trial for allegedly digging more than 80 meters of tunnels at the site.

Ancient chariot in Pompeii

The ancient chariot is the first of its kind to be excavated in its entirety

jf/sms (AP, dpa, AFP)