Researchers at the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, in southern Italy, discovered a new object buried during excavations. It is a carriage, probably used as a transport vehicle during ceremonies, which is in excellent condition.
The piece was discovered in the old village of Civita Giuliana, which is north of the original gates of Pompeii. It has four wheels and is composed mainly of iron, but has adornments in bronze and tin. Wood residues and even materials that made up carriage ropes have been identified, although they are already quite deteriorated.
The responsible team celebrated the feat for several reasons. In addition to the excellent state of conservation of the object, discoveries of the type help to trace the routine of the region before the incident that victimized the population and to “understand the ancient world”.
All care is little
The excavated region was a stable – the remains of three horses had been found around the same space in 2018 and, in the most recent restoration, items that include a bronze saddle were discovered.
The area was confirmed as a complex structure: a two-story portico with an open area and a wooden ceiling. The preservation itself, especially in such a good state, is considered “a miracle” by archaeologists.
The first results of the excavation appeared in early January 2021, with traces of iron appearing between the rock. The next process was a very slow “micro-excavation”, since more abrupt actions could damage more preserved structures, as is the case of the vehicle found.
The park’s restorers used plaster molds to imitate organic structures that did not exist for further studies and to prevent landslides.
What is the carriage?
This is the first time that a vehicle like this has been found in Civita Giuliana. Such carriages are more common in other regions, such as Thrace, in northern Greece, but with less decorations.
As one of the adornments found portrays a scene involving satyrs and nymphs related to Eros, the god of love, researchers indicate that the object may have been used during wedding ceremonies, more specifically to take the bride to the future husband.
Pompeii and nearby towns were buried under the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano, in 79 AD The structure of the city and a good part of the population did not escape, remaining under rubble or not resisting the consequences of the natural phenomenon, such as high temperatures, rock collapse and the dumping of ashes.