ceremonial chariot from Pompeii

The Archaeological Park of Pompeii and the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Torre Annunziata announce the discovery of an extraordinary find, which has emerged intact from the excavation of the suburban villa of Civita Giuliana, beyond the walls to the north of the ancient city of Pompeii, as part of the joint operations launched in 2017 and in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2019, which sought to combat illegal activities which had been conducted in the area.

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 in the portico facing the stable where, in 2018, the remains of 3 equidae, including a horse still in its harness, had already been found.
This is an exceptional discovery, not only because it adds an additional element to the history of this dwelling and the story of the last moments in the lives of those who lived in it, as well as more generally to our understanding of the ancient world, but above all because it represents a unique find - which has no parallel in Italy thus far - in an excellent state of preservation.
The ongoing excavation project has a dual objective: firstly, to cooperate with the investigations of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Torre Annunziata, in order to bring an end to the looting of cultural heritage by perpetrators who had dug several tunnels in the area in order to intercept archaeological treasures, and secondly, to reveal one of the most significant villas of the Vesuvian area and to protect it from further looting.
The excavations, which have also allowed us to verify the extent of the illegal tunnels and the damage they have inflicted on cultural heritage, have been constantly accompanied by stabilisation and restoration operations on what has steadily emerged. Indeed, from the start, the excavation has been characterised by considerable technical-operational complexity, since the rooms to be studied are partially below and alongside modern dwellings, with all of the consequent structural and logistical difficulties such a situation entails.