Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Excavated Iron Age Chariot Pieces Are 'Find of a Lifetime'

 / Updated  / Source: Live Science
A linch pin (shown from three angles) from an Iron Age chariot that were discovered at the Burrough Hill Iron Age Hillfort in Leicestershire, England.
A linch pin (shown from three angles) from an Iron Age chariot that were discovered at the Burrough Hill Iron Age Hillfort in Leicestershire, England.University of Leicester

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
Selection of chariot fittings: miniature terret ring (upper left), large terret ring (upper right), strap junction (lower left) and barrel-shaped harness fitting.
Selection of chariot fittings: miniature terret ring (upper left), large terret ring (upper right), strap junction (lower left) and barrel-shaped harness fitting.University of Leicester

More than 2,000 years ago, pieces of an Iron Age chariot were burnt and buried, perhaps as a religious offering. Now, archaeologists have discovered the bronze remains of this sacrifice. The remains were discovered at the Burrough Hill Iron Age Hillfort, a fortified hilltop structure that was once surrounded by farms and settlements, used most heavily between about 100 B.C. and A.D. 50.

The pieces are the metal remains of a chariot that once belonged to a warrior or noble. One linchpin is decorated with three wavy lines radiating from a single point, almost like the modern flag for the Isle of Man, a British dependency in the Irish Sea. The pieces were found upon a layer of chaff, which may have provided fuel for the burning ritual.

"This is the most remarkable discovery of material we made at Burrough Hill in the five years we worked on the site," University of Leicester archaeologist Jeremy Taylor said in a statement. Nora Battermann, one of the four students to make the find, called it "the find of a lifetime."

—Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience

This is a condensed version of a report from Live Science. Read the full report. Follow Stephanie Pappas on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescience, Facebook& Google+.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news