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Collections / Ricerca / Etruscan Collection: Villanovan phase (900-680 B.C.)

A pair of horse bits

Bits are part of the horse harness put in the mouth of the animal that allows guiding it.

More info

Bits can commonly be found inside the grave goods discovered in Bologna, paired and gathered with rings and small nails that adorned the leathered reins, implying that yoked horses were employed to pull a light chariot.
The employment of horse-pulled chariots enabled people to move at a speed ten times greater than the pace of a man left without any means of transport, thereby conferring the owner a increased capacity to control the territory and an undoubted military superiority. Furthermore, owning a horse and a chariot required substantial resources, for both the training and caring of the animals and the construction and maintenance of the chariots.
Presenting oneself as horse owners therefore meant proclaiming that one belonged to a high social class. In Bologna originally that was exclusively a male prerogative, but around the late 8th century B.C. bits had been already included even in some significant female sepulchres.

Provenance: Bologna, Benacci-Caprara Necropolis, tomb 39
Datation: 725 - 700 B.C.
Material: Bronze
Dimensions: length: 18,6 cm.
Inventory #: 23298

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