August 7, 2008

Ancient Fully-Preserved Chariot Discovered In Bulgaria

A team of Bulgarian archaeologists working in an ancient Thracian tomb uncovered a well-preserved 1,900-year-old chariot, according to the team's leader on Thursday.

The four-wheel chariot was discovered during excavations near the village of Borisovo, 180 mils east of Sofia, said Daniela Agre, lead archaeologist.

"This is the first time that we have found a completely preserved chariot in Bulgaria," said Agre, a senior archaeologist at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Other excavations had uncovered parts of chariots, usually due to having been looted before the team arrived at the site.

At the funerary mound, the team also discovered table pottery, glass vessels and other gifts for the funeral of a wealthy Thracian aristocrat.

In a separate pit, they unearthed skeletons of two riding horses apparently sacrificed during the funeral of the nobleman, along with well preserved bronze and leather objects, some believed to horse harnesses.

The Culture Ministry confirmed the find and announced $3,900 in financial assistance for Agre's excavation.

Agre said an additional amount of $7,800 will be allocated by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences for an initial restoration and conservation of the chariot and the other Thracian finds.

The Thracians were an ancient people that inhabited the lands of present day Bulgaria and parts of modern Greece, Turkey, Macedonia and Romania between 4,000 B.C. and the 6th century, when they were assimilated by the invading Slavs.


Image Caption: Thracian Roman era "heros" (Sabazius) stele. The rider god was holding a lance and rides towards an altar with a snake wound around a tree. The flowing mantle is a permanent attribute of the Thracian rider god over several centuries. (Courtesy Wikipedia)


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