- The term chariot is often colloquially employed for all forms of wheeled transport in ancient central Italy. Wheeled transport is placed in some 200 graves of central Italy, but is not all of one type. The normal transport in a female tomb is the caleche (calash), where the passenger sat down and was probably drawn by mules with mouth bits. In male tombs, it is the two-wheeled chariot (biga, triga, or quadriga) that is most common, in which the driver was standing and drawn by two, three, or four horses. The fourhorse chariot can only be rarely confirmed, such as by the burial of four horses as at Vulci. These were normally all light vehicles for one or two people. Four-wheeled transport was much rarer (in contrast to north Italian and central European practice) and, when present in the Regolini Galassi tomb and Monte Michele at Veii, was employed for the transport of the deceased in a prone position. Wheeled transport was more often associated with male graves by a proportion of five to one. Artistic representations of wheeled transport occur from at least the seventh century BC in locations such as Verucchio and are also frequently seen on later cinerary urns from Volterra.See also BURIAL; WOMEN.
Historical Dictionary of the Etruscans. Simon K. F. Stoddart.
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