Wooden Chariots Unearthed At 4000-Year-Old Burial Site In Georgia

Archaeologists in the country of Georgia have discovered an ancient burial site that dates all the way back to the Early Bronze Age. Entombed within the chamber, which researchers say was intended for a chief, were seven bodies, a variety of ceremonial artifacts, and two well-preserved chariots, each with four wooden wheels.

Photo Credit: Zurab Makharadze

Via LiveScience:

Archaeologists discovered the timber burial chamber within a 39-foot-high (12 meters) mound called a kurgan.

The team discovered ornamented clay and wooden vessels, flint and obsidian arrowheads, leather and textile artifacts, a unique wooden armchair, carnelian and amber beads and 23 golden artifacts, including rare and artistic crafted jewelry, wrote [Zurab Makharadze, head of the Centre of Archaeology at the Georgian National Museum], in the summary of a presentation he gave recently at the International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, held at the University of Basel in Switzerland.

One of the more interesting takeaways from this discovery is the fact that the burial site actually predates equine domestication in the area. While horse-drawn chariots were common throughout Europe by around 1500 BC, the vehicles discovered in Georgia were probably pulled not by fleet-footed draft horses, but oxen.

More photos and details over at LiveScience.