A four-wheeled, ceremonial chariot was recently unearthed in excavations in villa at Civita Giuliana, north of the walls of the ancient city of Pompeii. The chariot was found in a remarkable state of preservation and, amazingly, hadn’t been damaged by the collapsed walls and ceiling of the room. It still exhibits its iron components along with bronze and tin decorations, which depict florals and the Greek god Eros. Excavators and conservationists are working to extract the fragile chariot, treating the wood and metals and using plaster to fill voids left by organic matter that had decomposed. This has allowed them to save the shaft and platform of the chariot, and has revealed the imprint of the ropes. Massimo Osanna, the director of the archaeological site, believes the theme of the ornate decorations on the chariot suggests it may have been used in community festivals and marriage rituals, possibly even being used to transport a bride to her new household. Pompeii, was destroyed in a volcanic eruption from Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Because it was buried in ash, the city was preserved at the moment of its destruction, and is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world today.
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