Archaeologists discover bronze remains of Iron Age chariot

Posted by pt91 at Oct 14, 2014 12:02 AM |
Team uncovers a matching set of decorated bronze parts from a 2nd or 3rd century BC Celtic chariot at Burrough Hill Iron Age hillfort
Archaeologists discover bronze remains of Iron Age chariot

Detail of a decorated strap junction found in the Burrough Hill excavation.

Leicester archaeologists have made a remarkable discovery of the decorated bronze remains of an Iron Age chariot.

A team from the University’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History has unearthed a hoard of rare bronze fittings from a 2nd or 3rd century BC chariot which appears to have been buried as a religious offering.

The archaeologists found the remains during their ongoing excavation of the Burrough Hill Iron Age hillfort, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

Taken together, the pieces are easily recognisable as a matching set of bronze fittings from a mid to late Iron Age chariot.  As a group of two or more base metal prehistoric artefacts this assemblage is covered under the Treasure Act.

After careful cleaning, decorative patterns are clearly visible in the metalwork – including a triskele motif showing three waving lines, similar to the flag of the Isle of Man.

The Burrough Hill excavation was undertaken to a detailed research design with the consent of the Department for Culture Media and Sport (advised by English Heritage), and the permission of the Ernest Cook Trust (landowners), and Leicestershire County Council (site management).