The beautifully preserved leather trappings of an ancient Egyptian chariot have been rediscovered in a storeroom of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Researchers say that the find, which includes intact harnesses, gauntlets and a bow case, is unique, and will help them to reconstruct how such chariots were made and used.
The ancient Egyptians used chariots — typically with one or two riders and pulled by two horses — for hunting and warfare as well as in processions. They are frequently shown in ancient Egyptian art, and several examples of the wooden frames survive, including six dismantled chariots found in King Tutankhamun’s tomb, dating to around 3,300 years ago.
But researchers knew little about the leather trappings and harnesses used with such chariots, as leather decomposes quickly if any moisture is present. Barely any leather survives on the chariots from Tutankhamun’s tomb, though some fragments are known from chariots found in other tombs, such as that of Yuya and Thuya, Tutankhamun’s great-grandparents. Read more.