Roman chariot with horses dating back 1,800 years discovered buried in Croatia

Archaeologists in Croatia uncovered the fossilized remains of a Roman chariot buried with two horses as part of a funeral ceremony.

The fossilized remains of a Roman chariot buried with 2 horses as part of a burial ritual have recently been uncovered in Croatia. A large burial chamber for an ‘extremely wealthy family’ was discovered where the carriage with what seems to be two horses had been placed.

The findings were made at the Jankovacka Dubrava site close to the village of Stari Jankovci, near the city of Vinkovci, in eastern Croatia by archaeologists from the City Museum Vinkovci and Institute of Archaeology from Zagreb.

The horses’ and chariot’s corpses being buried together appears to be an example of a tradition reserved for exceedingly rich 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 an extraordinary ritual in the Roman era in the souther Pannonian Basin.

Experts believe the bones date from the third century AD, while they are attempting to determine their exact age in order to gain a better understanding of the family whose members were buried here 1,800 years ago.

“After this follows a protracted process of restoration and conservation of the artifacts, as well as a full investigation of the findings,” said Marko Dizdar, head of the Institute of Archaeology. We’ll learn a bit more about the family whose members were buried in this region 1,800 years ago in a few years.”

“We’re more interested in the horses themselves, whether they were bred here or came from other regions of the empire,” he said, “since it would tell us more about the family’s prominence and fortune.” This will be accomplished via collaboration with both local and European institutions.”

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