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18 April 2014
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Wetwang: A Chariot Fit for a Queen?

By Mike Loades
Image of Roman coin
A Roman coin depicts a war chariot in action ©

Archaeologists couldn't believe their eyes when they realised the size of the object they were uncovering at Wetwang. Relive their experience, and assess the discoveries they made as a result of this extraordinary find.

Chariot, cart or carriage?

Excavations carried out at Wetwang, in East Yorkshire, in 2001, revealed the remains of a vehicle that had been deliberately buried almost 2,500 years ago. But what kind of vehicle was it? Was it just a cart or was it something more than that? There was an apparently high-status human burial alongside the vehicle, so it quickly seemed possible that this 'cart' might well have been a carriage, or even a chariot.

'They decided to attempt to recreate the Wetwang find ...'

To throw light on the discussion and find out more about the way the vehicle was used, the archaeologists involved decided to reconstruct the past. They decided to attempt to recreate the Wetwang find, based on the evidence at the burial site and on existing research concerning Iron Age chariots. And they planned to test it out in field trials, to see how it performed.

Published: 2005-01-25



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