Items of this collection were found in the Italian Republic, Apulia region, city of Lecce. The burial was discovered during construction of a new hotel, while excavating a foundation pit at a depth of about 6-8 meters.
In the course of its examination there were found lots of historic artifacts; however, due to the fact that works were carried out by external employees, a part of these artifacts was lost. Now it consists of “chariot”, four coins, fragments of altar and embalming vessel.
Almost all metal objects are corroded and covered with distinctive patina. Traits of patinas are alike, almost identical, thus proving that all objects were found in one place and correspond to one time period. In the same place there were found ceramic fragments of altar and embalming vessel. The embalming vessel is covered in famous Greek black varnish with green and red drawings, meaning mourning for the deceased. Altar and embalming vessel were broken by excavator bucket. Only parts of the Altar survived, while the embalming vessel was glued together.
The objects were not cleaned and preserved in order to carry out expert review. Historical work wasn’t carried out either. Only expert evaluation of the superior department in this field (National Museum) was performed, proving their authenticity and identifying the age – 6-4 century B. C.
The found objects represent custom of burial, and the composition testifies that the ceremony was ancient Greek. The ancient Greek tradition provided that coins were put in deceased arms and on his/her eyes. Chariot and altar are tributes to the status of the deceased.
The identity of person buried can be established basing on the place of discovery. Previously here was situated the city named Taranto. According to legend, it was founded by the Spartans, Partheniae headed by Falan in 706 B. C. at the boundaries of the today’s cities of Apulia, Licon and Calabria on the shore of the Gulf of Taranto. Later Taranto became ancient Greek city-state. It was the largest center of handicraft and trade. In the seventh century B. C. it became one of the richest, highly populated and powerful polises in Ancient Greece. It is known that approximately in the year 500 B. C. it was governed by the king named Aristofilid.
After examining the objects in the burial and basing on the place of discovery we can suppose that the deceased had descended from aristocratic family of Spartan warriors and was a chariot warrior (hoplite), or at least was related to Spartan military leaders.
(“The discovery can be considered as unique archeological find and as one of the wonders of the world”).