Etruscan chariot

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Image:Etruscan Chariot 530BC.jpg
Rogers Fund, 1903 (03.23.1)

The only Etruscan chariot found intact dates to ca. 530 BC and is now kept at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City.

The chariot was part of a chariot burial, containing the remains of two human corpses, along with two drinking cups. It is decorated with bronze plates, depicting mythological scenes in relief, and ivory, measuring 131 cm in height. The chariot's wheels have nine spokes (rather than the classical Greek four, the Egyptian six, or the Assyrian and Persian eight; excavated chariots from Celtic burials have up to twelve spokes).

It was found in 1902 in Monteleone di Spoleto near Spoleto in the province of Perugia of Umbria, by a farmer,called Isidoro Vannozzi, when he was digging a wine cellar. Vannozzi hid it in his barn, concerned that the authorities might confiscate it, and later sold it to two Frenchmen in exchange for, according to family lore, two cows (or according to the local mayor, for 30 terracotta tiles). It was sold to the Metropolitan museum from Florence in 1903, and was illegally exported from Italy. The comune of Monteleone as of January, 2005 is attempting to recuperate the chariot from the Metropolitan museum, but museum representatives have "respectfully declined" to return it.

There are also persistent rumors in Monteleone, if unverified, that other related finds were made at the same time, that were sold separately on the black market. A full-size copy was made in the mid‑20th century, which is on display in Monteleone.

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Etruscan chariot

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