Pompeii has again revealed a unique treasure: in the sunken city in southern Italy, archaeologists have unearthed a triumphal chariot from ancient times.
The four-wheeled iron vehicle is practically intact, the archaeological park announced on Saturday.
The experts made the find in the Villa Civita Giuliana in the north of the ancient city.
On the side it is adorned with decorations made of tin and bronze, which show men and women making love.
According to the researchers, this find is unique in Italy.
They justified this with the fact that the car was in very good condition and, in contrast to other findings, was not used for work in agriculture.
According to initial findings, the car was used by the Roman elite for special occasions.
There was therefore room for one or two people on it.
It was also decorated with wood painted red and black.
A two-story portico once stood there
In addition to archaeologists, architects, engineers, restorers and volcanologists have worked on the excavation over the past few months.
The experts initially dug themselves several meters into the villa, as it was reported.
They first discovered that the place was once a two-story portico.
The wooden framework was still preserved and was carefully removed so that we could advance further.
A couple making love
The villa had already caused a stir in 2018 because the remains of three horses were discovered there.
During the excavations, the researchers also found horse harness made of bronze.
Apparently, not only archaeologists were aware of the value of this place, because robbers repeatedly dug their way into tunnels up to the excavation site in order to plunder, it was said.
This caused damage.
The public prosecutor's office is investigating this case.
The researchers had previously discovered the remains of dead horses nearby, and now they have also found a wagon
Italy's Minister of Culture was delighted with the latest find.
"Pompeii continues to astonish us with its finds, and so it will be for many years to come, with 20 hectares still to be excavated," said Dario Franceschini on Saturday.
Most recently he caused a surprise with the appointment of the now German-Italian Gabriel Zuchtriegel as director of the archeology park.
“A young director like Zuchtriegel will enhance the commitment there,” he explained.
Italy's place for sensational finds
At the age of 39, Zuchtriegel will be the youngest director in Pompeii.
The native of Baden-Württemberg was previously director of the National Archaeological Museum in Paestum.
In Pompeii, he says he wants to take care of inclusion, digitization and monument protection, among other things.
The ancient city of Pompeii lies at the foot of the Vesuvius volcano.
During eruptions in AD 79, ash, mud and lava buried the settlements and partially preserved the city.
Pompeii was rediscovered in the 18th century.
The archaeological site is one of the most popular sights in Italy and always contains sensational finds.