24 Bronze Statues Discovered by Archaeologists in Tuscan Spa after 2,300 Years

Archaeologists have been excavating ancient thermal baths outside Siena, Italy, since 2019. But just last month, peeking out through the mud and water, small unidentified fragments slowly began to appear: a hand, an elbow, a glimmering coin. Since then, researchers have unearthed 24 perfectly preserved bronze statues dating back some 2,300 years, as well as a cache of thousands of coins and other significant artifacts.

The discovery in San Casciano dei Bagni, a small hilltop town in the Siena province known for its thermal baths, is nothing short of groundbreaking, experts say.

The find is “the largest deposit of bronze statues of the Etruscan and Roman age ever discovered in Italy and one of the most significant in the whole Mediterranean,” says excavation leader Jacopo Tabolli, a historian at the University for Foreigners in Siena, in a statement, per Google Translate.

One of the 24 bronze sculptures
One of the sculptures discovered in the ancient thermal baths Courtesy of the Italian Ministry of Culture
mud
A sculpture in the mud at the excavation site Courtesy of the Italian Ministry of Culture

The statues date back to between the second century B.C.E. and the first century C.E., which was a time of great upheaval in Tuscan history: The transition from Etruscan to Roman rule was taking place, through hard-fought battles over towns such as this one. After the Romans eventually prevailed, they led a concentrated campaign to redefine and minimize Etruscan culture, burying or destroying historical items.

Among the statues are likenesses of Hygieia, Apollo and other Greco-Roman gods. Some of them bore Latin and Etruscan inscriptions with the names of prominent Etruscan families.

“This discovery rewrites the history of ancient art,” Tabolli adds. “Here, Etruscans and Romans prayed together.”

Tabolli thinks that the statues were immersed in thermal waters in a sort of ritual. “You give to the water because you hope that the water gives something back to you,” he tells Reuters’ Alvise Armellini.

statue cleanup
Experts clean one of the sculptures. Courtesy of the Italian Ministry of Culture
The excavation site
The excavation site in San Casciano dei Bagni in the Siena region of Italy Courtesy of the Italian Ministry of Culture
Two bronze busts
Two bronze busts dating back about 2,300 years Courtesy of the Italian Ministry of Culture

Researchers can’t know for certain why the statues were drowned in the thermal waters, but they do know that the waters helped keep them in such good condition. The mud creates an atmosphere without oxygen, which helps keep the bronzes safe from bacteria, says Helga Maiorano, an archaeologist at the University of Pisa, to la Repubblica’s Azzurra Giorgi.

“One of the last ones [of the statues] particularly struck me for the quality of the details,” Chiara Fermo, an archaeologist at the University of Siena, tells La Repubblica, per Google Translate. “It is a female statue, entirely bejeweled, with very detailed necklaces and earrings. An example of what a woman of the time must have been like.”

The area’s thermal baths were used until the fifth century C.E., when public bathing practices were banned under new Christian regulations.

The statues and other discoveries have been taken to a restoration lab in nearby Grosseto. Eventually, they’ll go on display in a new museum opening in San Casciano.

Related Posts

Archaeological Revelation: Unearthing a 230-Million-Year-Old “Hybrid” Creature Between Crocodile and Bird

Αt the eпd of the Trіassіc рeriod, the lапd of whаt іs пow the ѕtate of Wyomіпg of the Uпіted Stаtes exіsted а ѕtraпge beаst wіth а рarrot-like beаk, а dіпosaυr body. It wаs паmed Beeѕiiwo сooowυse, а пew ѕpecieѕ. The Beаst Jυѕt Αррeared іп ΑmerіcaThe …

Read more

Frozen Heritage: Unraveling the Enigma of Ötzi, the 5,300-Year-Old Icebound Man Preserved in Time

Iп 1991, two Germап hіkers ѕtυmbled υрoп а frozeп сorpse thаt hаd beeп іmmacυlately рreserved beпeаth the іce іп the Eаsterп Alрs for over fіve mіlleпіa. Sіпce the dіscovery, the 5300-yeаr-old mυmmy – kпowп аs “Iсemaп” or “Ötzі” – hаs рroveп а paleomicrobiological …

Read more

Echoes from the Past: Deciphering the Mystery of 80 Ancient Skeletons Found with Hands Raised Above Heads

Arсhaeologists hаve dіѕсovered 80 апсіeпt mаle ѕkeletoпѕ іп а bυrіаl ѕіte, dаtіпg bасk to the 7th сeпtυry BCE, іп the Fаlіro rіver deltа regіoп, ѕoυtherп Atheпѕ. The ѕkeletoпѕ were foυпd аrrапged wіth theіr hапdѕ tіed аbove theіr heаdѕ. A hyрotheѕіѕ ѕυggeѕtѕ …

Read more

Unraveling Mysteries: Exploring the Secrets of Ancient Egyptian Mummies

The mυmmy of Lаdy Rаi іs oпe of the oldeѕt kпowп mυmmіes υпсovered іп Egyрt. She wаs dіscovered іп 1881 апd reѕearcherѕ eѕtimate thаt ѕhe wаs аboυt 30 – 40 yeаrs old wheп ѕhe dіed аroυпd 1530 BC. From the wrіtіпgs left behіпd аboυt Lаdy Rаi, we kпow thаt …

Read more

The Tіmeless Sрlendor: Reveаling the Wonderѕ of Tutankhamun’s Tomb

In t𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚎𝚊𝚛t 𝚘𝚏 t𝚑𝚎 v𝚊st E𝚐𝚢𝚙ti𝚊n 𝚍𝚎s𝚎𝚛t, 𝚋𝚎n𝚎𝚊t𝚑 l𝚊𝚢𝚎𝚛s 𝚘𝚏 s𝚊n𝚍 𝚊n𝚍 st𝚘n𝚎, l𝚊𝚢 𝚊 s𝚎c𝚛𝚎t w𝚊itin𝚐 t𝚘 𝚋𝚎 𝚞nc𝚘v𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚍. It w𝚊s 𝚊 s𝚎c𝚛𝚎t w𝚑is𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚍 t𝚑𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑 t𝚑𝚎 win𝚍s 𝚘𝚏 tim𝚎, 𝚊 m𝚢st𝚎𝚛𝚢 s𝚑𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚍𝚎𝚍 in t𝚑𝚎 𝚎ni𝚐m𝚊tic 𝚊𝚞𝚛𝚊 𝚘𝚏 𝚊nci𝚎nt E𝚐𝚢𝚙t. It w𝚊s t𝚑𝚎 t𝚘m𝚋 𝚘𝚏 T𝚞t𝚊nk𝚑𝚊m𝚞n, …

Read more

The Monumental Statue of Ramesses II

The Statue of Ramesses II is a giant sculpture of 12 meters high carved in the New Kingdom of Egypt, during the reign of Ramses II, Pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. FindingThe colossus was discovered in 1820 by the Italian traveler Giovanni …

Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *