Complete remains of 2,500-year-old chariot and two horses found in Bulgaria
Archaeologists have uncovered the incredible remains of a complete Thracian carriage and two horses that appear to have been buried upright.
The horses and carriage were found in a Thracian tomb along with other artefacts in the village of Svestari in north-east Bulgaria. The particular mound where the carriage was discovered, is adjacent to the well-known Mound of Bulgarian Khan Imurtag, where the same research team uncovered a hoard of gold last year. However, the finding is surprising as looters have ravaged most of the ancient mounds in the region, despite a UNESCO ban.
The carriage, complete with two wheels, seat and boot, has been dated to 2,500-years-old and is thought to have belonged to Thracian nobility, judging by the imported goods found in nearby graves.
“The find is unique, it is not resembling any other carriage dating from the Thracian era ever uncovered in Bulgaria,” said Professor Diana Gergova of the National Archaeology Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, who led the dig.
Sadly, it appears that the chariot was placed in a narrow hole with a sloping side to allow horses, decorated with elaborate harnesses, to pull it into its final resting place, after which they were killed. Experts reached this conclusion after noticing that the horses were still attached to their harnesses and to the carriage.
The Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting a large area in Central and Southeastern Europe who were first mentioned in Homer’s ‘Iliad’, where they were described as allies of the Trojans in the Trojan War against the Greeks. They were known to be fierce warriors and horse-breeders who established a powerful kingdom in the fifth century BC.