Thracian chariot found in the village of Karanovo, 1st century AD

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The four-wheeled wooden chariot, its intricately carved bronze plating and 
fittings, plus the skeletal remains of two horses and a dog have been preserved in situ instead of being removed to a museum. Thracian chariots were often buried with up to eight horses and their elaborately decorated bridles. The bronze plating features scenes from Thracian mythology, like the god Eros, a jumping panther and a mythological animal with the body of a panther and the tail of a dolphin.

Four wheeled chariots are a very rare find, and this one is particularly notable because of the large diameter of the wheels: 1.2 meters, almost 4 feet. The Thracian nobleman himself was also found buried with his chariot, the animals and some wooden and leather goods thought to be horse harnesses.


The Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting a large area in Central and Southeastern Europe who were first mentioned in Homer’s ‘Iliad’, where they were described as allies of the Trojans in the Trojan War against the Greeks. They were known to be fierce warriors and horse-breeders who established a powerful kingdom in the fifth century BC.

They were conquered by Rome in the first century, and were assimilated by invading Slav peoples in the 6th century. They had no written language, and so left no records.

Fierce warriors and horse-breeders, the Thracians were also skilled goldsmiths. 


They established a powerful kingdom in the fifth century B.C. Its capital was thought to be Seutopolis, whose ancient ruins lie under a large artificial lake near Shipka, in an area dubbed 'the Bulgarian Valley of Kings' for its many rich tombs



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