In Croatia, archaeologists discovered the fossilized remains of a Roman chariot buried with two horses as part of a funeral ceremony.
In Croatia, the fossilized remains of a Roman chariot buried with two horses as part of a burial ritual were recently discovered. Where the carriage with what appears to be two horses had been placed, a large burial chamber for an ‘extremely wealthy family’ was discovered.
Archaeologists from the City Museum Vinkovci and the Institute of Archaeology from Zagreb discovered the Jankovacka Dubrava site near the village of Stari Jankovci, near the city of Vinkovci, in eastern Croatia.
The burying of the horses’ and chariot’s corpses together appears to be a tradition reserved for extremely wealthy households.
According to curator Boris Kratofil, “the custom is associated with extremely wealthy families who have played a prominent role in the administrative, social, and economic life of the province of Pannonia,” burial under tumuli (an ancient burial mound) was a remarkable ritual in the Roman era in the southern Pannonian Basin.
Experts believe the bones date from the third century AD, but they are still trying to figure out how old they are in order to learn more about the family whose members were buried here 1,800 years ago.
“This is followed by a lengthy process of restoration and conservation of the artifacts, as well as a thorough investigation of the findings,” said Marko Dizdar, director of the Institute of Archaeology. In a few years, we’ll learn more about the family whose members were buried in this region 1,800 years ago.”
“We’re more interested in the horses themselves,” he explained, “whether they were bred here or came from other regions of the empire,” because it would reveal more about the family’s prominence and fortune. This will be accomplished through collaboration with both national and international institutions.”
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