A group of archaeology students made a "once-in-a-career" discovery during a five-year excavation project at Burrough Hill, an Iron Age fort in Leicestershire, England.
Nora Battermann, a student at the University of Leicester, found the bronze remains of a 2,200-year-old chariot from the mid-to-late Iron Age, with the help of her classmates. Archaeologists have called the find "extremely rare" and date the chariot to the second or third century B.C.E.
The chariot remains are decorated with Celtic designs, and archaeologists believe a high-class nobleman or warrior owned the chariot. The researchers suspect the chariot was dismantled, but they also speculated that it may never have been built. The findings suggest the remains were burned during a religious ritual and buried alongside a set of iron tools that may have been used for horse grooming.
"I've been digging for the best part of 30 years and never found anything like it. It's a once-in-a-career discovery," Dr. Jeremy Taylor of the University of Leicester said in a statement. "To find a chariot is rare — in east Yorkshire, there was a practice of chariot burial, but outside that area, it is extremely rare to find one."
The chariot remains will be displayed at the Melton Carnegie Museum in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England, from Oct. 18 through Dec. 13.