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Comparative archaeology

The Miniature Chariot of Merida

A sort of rectangular platform set on four wheels, this small chariot supports figurines (horseman, wild boar and dog) evoking a boar-hunting scene. These figurines were made through the lost wax process, as were three of the small bells hanging from the back of the platform.

As this chariot was discovered many years ago, its archaeological context is unknown, but several indications point to the fact that this object was knowingly buried in fragments. Recent analysis of the metal alloys has shown that some of the original cast elements could date back to the 5th and 4th centuries BC. Based on stylistic analysis on the other hand, other specialists think that the coexistence of genuine Iberian figures with the more realistic style of the animals, indicates a more recent date for this work, which could be one of the last examples of a long series of proto-historic votive chariots in Europe.

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