Height: 20.500 cm
Length: 25.500 cm
GR 1894.10-30.1 (Bronze 2695)
Room 69: Greek and Roman life
Bronze model of a 2-horse chariot (biga)
Roman, 1st-2nd century AD
Said to have been found in the River Tiber, Rome, Italy
A model of a racing chariot from ancient Rome
The very animated horse (its companion is now missing) is pulling a biga, a light racing chariot. The body of the chariot is shown as being made of bent pieces of wood lashed together with a thong, a technique which provided strength and lightness. The yoke pole, to which the horses were attached, is decorated with a ram's head terminal.
Although the biga was not as imposing as the quadriga or four-horse chariot, its speed and agility still enthralled visitors to the circus. This was a long narrow structure built in many Roman towns (for example, the Circus Maximus in Rome) and was primarily for chariot racing.
E. Köhne and C. Ewigleben (eds.), Gladiators and Caesars: the po (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)