Roman chariot burial site found
February 15th, 2003
ARCHAEOLOGISTS in north-eastern Greece had discovered a Roman burial site with well-preserved remains of chariots and horses, experts have said.
The 2000-year-old remains of four chariots, described as unique in Greece, were found in the country's Evros region, near the Bulgarian border.
"Most likely these chariots were used to take dead people to be cremated," Triantaphyllos Diamantis, head of the antiquities directorate conducting the excavations, told an archaeology conference.
Diamantis said the chariots, bearing silver-plated and bronze decorations, were buried with the ashes of the dead Romans and their horses, apparently killed for the ceremony.
"These are particularly significant finds and are unique in Greece," Diamantis said.
The excavations began last September and were still under way.
More Roman carts in Thrace
At least three Roman wooden carts, and not just one, as initially believed, have been located in a 2,000-year-old Thracian grave on Greece’s northeastern borders, an archaeologist said yesterday.
Speaking at the opening of a three-day conference in Thessaloniki on last year’s archaeological work in Macedonia and Thrace, Diamantis Triandafyllos said the discovery near the village of Mikri Doxipara, some 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) west of Orestias, was the first of its kind in Greece.
A 6-meter-high and 60-meter-wide tumulus has been found to contain three, and, maybe, four, wooden carts — one of which was preserved almost intact — dating to the first century AD, and two separate human cremations, of a man and a woman.
Along with each of the two carts excavated so far, which had four iron wheels and were decorated with bronze and silver-gilt ornaments, was buried a pair of horses. Triandafyllos, an expert on the archaeology of Thrace, said the carts had been used to carry the dead to their funerals.