According to a report in Live Science, the 3,000-year-old grave of a Nubian chariot horse has been uncovered at the site of Tombos in what is now Sudan. The horse had been wrapped in a shroud and buried in a shaft under a tomb complex chapel, near four chambers containing high-status human burials. A carved scarab beetle and a piece of iron that may have been part of a bridle were also found in the horse’s grave.
The metal is said to be the oldest piece of worked iron yet found in Africa. Bioarchaeologist Michelle Buzon of Purdue University said that examination of the animal’s bones, some of which still bore bits of chestnut fur with white markings, revealed it was a mare who died between the ages of 12 and 15. Stress on her ribs and spine indicate she wore a chariot harness during her active life. To read in-depth about archaeological evidence of the relationship between horses and humans, go to “The Story of the Horse.”