Racing Chariots in Jordan

Here’s one of those rather odd posts that make you do a double-take just before you say, yeah, that’s actually rather cool.

A young Swede named Stellan Lind has gone to Jordan to recreate chariot races for tourists. Lind is a former executive in the pharmaceutical industry who was so entranced by the chariot scenes in the film Ben Hur that he headed to the Middle East and petitioned the government to allow him to establish a company that does recreations of the chariot races amid the ancient ruins of Jaresh, Jordan.

The show is known as “The Roman Army and Chariot Experience” or simply by its acronym RACE and features former Jordanian soldiers who play gladiators and compete in chariot races. Lind (perhaps a bit full of himself) oversees the races wearing a toga and a purple sash. He has yet to bring together lions and Christians, but perhaps it’s only a matter of time. There is also a story about it on NPR.