A Fully Intact Roman Chariot Survived Pompeii’s Destruction

The city of Pompeii continues to live on in infamy thousands of years after its destruction by a volcanic eruption in 79 A.D. Historians and archeologists have put together timelines and many stories about Pompeiian life during its prime; they also know quite a bit about the events of that fateful day. And, interestingly, the lava and ash left quite a story to tell in its deadly wake. So many remnants from the destruction have been found but there’s also a lot more to uncover, including a history-making recent discovery. According to Smithsonian Magazine, researchers in Italy recently found a chariot at a Civita Giuliana villa just outside of Pompeii.

The vehicle is in incredible condition with a seat, metal armrests, iron wheels, and decorations of nymphs, cupids, and satyrs in bronze and tin. It was miraculously still completely intact and is the first discovery of its kind to have this level of preservation. The photos of this big find are honestly stunning.

a photo of an ancient Roman chariot fully preserved at an excavation site


The research team believes that this ride was far too fancy for simple trips around town or other daily activities. Instead, its likely the type of chariot for ancient Roman weddings, parades, and other big-time ceremonial events. The work towards protecting this particular excavation site began back in 2017 after looters began to create tunnels in hopes of finding something historic. The tunnels did a tiny bit of damage to the vehicle but, as the AP reports, it did not suffer any major damage.

an up close photo of an ancient Roman chariot showing nymphs and cupids


Right now, the chariot is getting a nice cleanup at an archeological park laboratory. It will then go through a restoration and reconstruction process. It’s not clear what happens next but perhaps this discovery will help us learn even more about Pompeiian life. And perhaps there will be even more discoveries in the near future that are worthy of study and preservation.

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