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The 2011 Campaign: The Carriage Of "The Queen”

During the excavation of the "Piazzaletto" at the end of August, a new surprise awaited archaeologists: the remains of a wagon stand leaning the right angle to the dock. This is really a discovery announced: in fact, already during the previous campaign, elements in iron and bronze, which had assumed the presence of a vehicle, had surfaced. Moreover, the deposition of a coach in the grave was a custom widespread in the Italic world and it indicated the prestigious role of the deceased.
Vehicles found among the grave goods are of two types: the coach and carriage. The coach was driving while standing and it was a fast vehicle used by the Etruscan nobles to reach all their possessions. Privileged symbol of power, it was also used during parades. The carriage, which led instead to sit, is found in many female burials: women used it for commuting and for ceremonies, especially weddings. Drawn by a pair of mules or donkeys instead of horses, the carriage was slower than the coach, partly because of the characteristics of its structure: usually the hubs, with metallic headings endowed with quadrangular rather than circular hole, rotated along the axis.
According to the structural elements, it is considered that the vehicle found in the “Piazzaletto” is a carriage, of which part of the rim of a wheel in iron, a hub and part of the bandage of the case remain. The layer of arrangement had a very dark brown color, probably the result of the decay of the organic parts (wood and leather) of which the vehicle was originally constituted. Other fragments of the rim were found in the upper layers. On the left-side chamber numerous fragments of another vehicle, identified with a chariot, are also identified.
Archaeologists and conservators are currently involved in the study and reconstruction of the carriage that will soon be exposed to the public with a support structure to integrate the missing parts.
 
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