A large Roman four-wheeled ceremonial chariot after it was discovered near the the archaeological park of Pompeii.—AFP
A large Roman four-wheeled ceremonial chariot after it was discovered near the the archaeological park of Pompeii.—AFP

ROME: An ornate Roman chariot has been discovered “almost intact” near Italy’s buried city of Pompeii, the archaeological park annou­nced on Saturday, calling it a discovery with “no parallel” in the country.

The four-wheeled processional carriage was found in the portico to stables where the remains of three horses were unearthed in 2018, including one still in its harness.

Pompeii was buried in boiling lava when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, killing between 2,000 and 15,000 people.

“A large ceremonial chariot with four wheels, along with its iron components, beautiful bronze and tin decorations, mineralised wood remains and imprints of organic materials (from the ropes to the remains of floral decoration), has been discovered almost intact,” a statement issued by the archaeological park said.

“This is an exceptional discovery... which has no parallel in Italy thus far — in an excellent state of preservation.” The excavation site is known as the Civita Giuliana, a suburban villa that lies just a few hundred metres from the ancient city of Pompeii.

The excavation is part of a programme aimed at fighting illegal activity in the area, including tunnel digging to reach artefacts that can be sold on illicit markets.

Looters missed the room where the chariot had lain for almost 2,000 years, tunnelling by on both sides, the park’s statement said.

Specialists took great care to unearth the vehicle, for example by pouring plaster into voids “to preserve the imprint of any organic material” that had decomposed, it added.

The park said this had allowed it to emerge well preserved down to the imprints of ropes, “thus revealing the chariot in all of its complexity”.

“Pompeii continues to amaze with all of its discoveries, and it will continue to do so for many years yet, with 20 hectares (50 acres) still to be excavated,” Culture Minister Dario Franceschini was quoted as saying.

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2021

Opinion

Diverging paths
Updated 15 Apr 2021

Diverging paths

It seems that Imran Khan is feeling the pain of the adjustment that he has had to undertake.
Judging the judges
15 Apr 2021

Judging the judges

In the end, like Joan of Arc, they were made to pay with their blood.
People to people
Updated 15 Apr 2021

People to people

By facilitating access, the governments of India and Pakistan can start to build trust and understanding between the two publics.
Hostage to extremism
Updated 14 Apr 2021

Hostage to extremism

Once again, the TLP has succeeded in bringing the administration to its knees.

Editorial

Afghanistan exit
Updated 15 Apr 2021

Afghanistan exit

Afghanistan has suffered for decades as powerful local players have refused to compromise and have insisted on hogging power.
15 Apr 2021

New census

EARLIER this week, the Council of Common Interests approved the controversial National Population and Housing ...
15 Apr 2021

With no place to go

No matter where one looks, one can’t escape the heartrending sight of scores of children of all ages begging, ...
TLP protests
Updated 14 Apr 2021

TLP protests

For the good of the country, and its image as a nation where extremism has no place, such groups must be strictly reined in.
14 Apr 2021

PPP’s formal exit

THE PPP’s formal resignation from all offices of the PDM comes as no surprise after weeks of tension and public...
14 Apr 2021

Natanz attack

AS the P5+1 and Iran try to breathe life back into the JCPOA, as the nuclear deal is officially known, it appears...