Remains of the Neigh: Ancient carriage horses buried standing up
Bulgarian archeologists unearthed 2,500-year-old remains of a Thracian carriage and two horses that appear to have been buried standing up.
Thracians were fierce warriors and horse breeders who lived in the central Balkans who believed in the notion, quite popular at the time, that yes, you can take it with you, according to the Daily Mail.
Finding horses (cats, jewelry, ex-girlfriends and other necessities for the afterlife) in tombs is not unusual. Discovering the equine skeletons buried upright, however, is.
Experts believe the tomb, a narrow hole, was constructed with sloping sides that allowed the horses to pull the carriage to its final parking spot. Then, they killed them. In addition to providing insight into ancient Thracian culture, the discovery may also help explain the aversion of some modern horses to trailer loading.
In related very-old-horse-bones-in-unusual-places news, horse bones were recently discovered in one of the highest places they’ve been found so far. Researchers discovered remains, horse shoes and perfectly preserved 1000-year-old manure 6,500 feet up in the Norwegian mountains. This was no fancy tomb, rather the poor creature apparently dropped dead while schlepping reindeer carcasses over the mountains during the Iron Age.
Not all horse owners of antiquity were as heartless as either the Thracians or Norwegians. Though brutal to almost everyone else, Roman emperor Caligula loved his horse Incitatus so much he gave him a marble stall, an ivory manger, a jeweled collar and fed him oats mixed with gold flakes. He’d planned on appointing him to the government, as a Consul of Rome, but was assassinated before he had the chance.
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