Roman horse skeletons, chariot dug up

From The AustralianFrom correspondents in Athens
| June 12, 2008

ARCHAEOLOGISTS
have dug up the skeletons of 16 horses and a two-wheeled chariot in a
grave dating back to the Roman Empire in north-east Greece, the culture
ministry announced today.

Half of the horses were
buried in pairs, whilst two human skeletons were also discovered in a
dig near Lithohori, in the Kavala region.

Near to the remains of six of the horses archaeologists found a shield, weapons and various other accessories.

Ten of the horse skeletons were complete, and in addition to the
horses, diggers found a grave and four tombs covered with a ceramic
lid, which contained four bronze coins dating back to the fourth
century AD.

The chariot, dating from the first or second century AD, was
“undoubtedly designed to be used in war or hunting”, the ministry said.

The chariot was decorated with a frieze relief in bronze, depicting
three of Hercules’ labours: namely, the Cerberus dog, the wild boar of
Erymanthian, and the Stymphalian birds.

The ministry said that in 2007 archaeologists discovered a chariot
wheel placed underneath two horse skeletons in the same area.

These excavations were begun to mark the beginning of work on a new
motorway linking the Ionian Sea in the west with the Greek-Turkish
border.

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