Speaking of chariots, our thoughts automatically go to Egyptian, Assyrian, Scythian, Greek and Roman examples but hardly any Thracian. The picture of one such Thracian chariot including the skeleton of two horses was a recent top hit on Reddit.
Macedonia’s northern neighbor and roughly covers
today’s Bulgaria, Eastern
Greece and western (European) .
The Thracians were fierce fighters and it took King Philip, Alexander’s father, several battles to finally subdue
them. When Alexander crossed the
Hellespont into Turkey Asia, a contingent from
Thracia was among his troops.
tomb of a Thracian nobleman was discovered in 2009. His brick tomb also
contained a chariot and the man in armor was buried with precious gifts of gold
rings and coins, together with a silver cup depicting a Greek inspired Eros.
Typically, this kind of burial was popular 2,500 years ago and continued far
into Roman times. To the Thracians, chariots meant prestige, power and authority
and they evidently wanted to carry these values with them into the afterlife. Bulgaria
The splendid chariot and its horses seen on the photograph were discovered in 2008. The wooden chariot was covered in bronze but unfortunately the decoration scenes from Thracian mythology are difficult to make out. It is estimated to be 1,800 years old.
The dead horses were not part of the animal sacrifices that accompanied such a burial but pigs, sheep and deer were. It is assumed that the horses pulled the chariot into place and were killed on the spot before being buried together will their owner and all the rich burial goods.
Such tombs are very much sought after by looters who get good prices for the precious sacrificial gifts on the black market. In our present case, luckily, the tomb was excavated before the looters got there and the finds will go to the museum for all to enjoy.