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18 September 2014
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Wetwang: Story of a Dig

By Julian Richards
A structure emerges

Image of horse bits
The iron horse bits emerge ©
By surveying and photographing the site, it was possible to locate and define several elements of the chariot that everyone was now certain the grave must contain.

The harness rings lay along a yoke that was joined to a long harness pole running back towards the rear of the vehicle. Although the whole length of the pole was impossible to retrieve, its shape could be determined from a short length where a recognisable void survived.

Further evidence was revealed in the conservation laboratory, where a small piece of wood was found adhering in the rust on the lower edge of one of the tyres. This gave the width as well as the position of the pole in the grave.

At the other end of the grave from the harness fittings there had always been a puzzle about why the grave pit widened out. The answer was found when a further void was located, which on casting proved to be a very substantial piece of timber, the chariot axle. It had obviously been buried complete, and was so wide that the grave pit needed to be widened to fit it in.

Published: 2005-01-25

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