The latest discovery in the on-going Pompeii excavation delights both fans of history and supercars alike. Archeologists unearthed an almost intact 2000-year-old four-wheeled processional chariot while digging through the ash-covered ruins of Pompeii. They were able to find this extraordinary artifact in the Civita Giuliana excavation site.
The chariot is considered one-of-a-kind because it was neither a common wagon for everyday use nor a military chariot for ancient warfare. Experts were able to determine the chariot as a pilentum chariot used by elite Romans to parade for ceremonial events.
The automotive community dubbed it as the “Lamborghini of Pompeii”. Some may call it a bit of a stretch, but this is a good modern-day comparison to give you an idea of its value in ancient times.
The chariot is richly embellished with decoration on both sides. It has alternating engraved bronze trim with red-and-black painted wood panels. The rear has complex decoration featuring three distinct registers with a succession of adornments of bronze and tin medallions bearing various erotic scenes alluding to Eros. Traces of cushions and ropes that used to hold garlands of flowers can also be seen along with imprints of ears of wheat left on the seat.
It looks like the appreciation for luxury and supercars has already been a concept since ancient times. Modern-day car enthusiasts can easily bask in the presence of a Lamborghini. People can spot one in sprawling cities from time to time. They can even admire photos and videos of Lamborghini posted through social media and the internet. In the heyday of Pompeii, crowds attend their amphitheater or arena to witness the presence of these so-called Lamborghini of Pompeii while seating on their stone bleachers.
Eric Poehler, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who studies Pompeii and an expert in its traffic told NPR that he was “astounded” by this latest discovery.
To quote, he said, “Many of the vehicles I’d written about before are your standard station wagon or vehicle for taking the kids to soccer. This is a Lamborghini. This is an outright fancy, fancy car.”
This glimpse of their lifestyle how they use and present their chariot shows that these people are no different from modern-day people when it comes to their admiration and use of luxury cars.