Archaeologists have unearthed a 1,900-year-old chariot in a Thracian tomb in southeastern Bulgaria, the head of the excavation said Thursday.
Daniela Agre said her team found the four-wheel chariot during excavations near the village of Borisovo, about 180 miles east of Sofia, the capital.
"This is the first time that we have found a completely preserved chariot in Bulgaria," said Agre, a senior archaeologist at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
At the funerary mound, the team also discovered table pottery, glass vessels and other gifts for the funeral of a wealthy Thracian aristocrat. In a separate pit, they found skeletons of two riding horses apparently sacrificed during the funeral of the nobleman, along with well-preserved bronze and leather objects, some believed to be harnesses.
The Culture Ministry confirmed the find and announced $3,900 in financial assistance for the dig. Agre said $7,800 more will be allocated by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences for an initial restoration and conservation of the chariot and the other Thracian finds.
The Thracians were an ancient people who inhabited the lands of present-day Bulgaria and parts of modern Greece, Turkey, Macedonia and Romania between 4,000 B.C. and the sixth century A.D., when they were assimilated by invading Slavs.
About 10,000 Thracian mounds -- some of them covering monumental stone tombs -- are scattered across Bulgaria.