Ancient Bronze Sculptures: In a recent find that is supposed to “rewrite history” on the transition from the Etruscan civilization to the Roman Empire between the first and second centuries B.C., a team of Italian archaeologists uncovered 24 well-preserved bronze statues from an old Tuscan thermal spring.
According to Massimo Osanna, Italy’s director of museums, the find in the sacred baths of the San Casciano dei Bagni archaeological dig near Siena is one of the most important ever in the Mediterranean and unquestionably the most significant since the 1972 underwater discovery of the renowned Riace bronze warriors.
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The two dozen 2000-year-old figurines and other bronze artifacts were discovered in a superb condition of preservation, complete with fine facial characteristics, inscriptions, and rippling tunics, thanks to the mud that shielded them. Five thousand gold, silver, and bronze coins were also displayed with the figurines, according to the Italian Ministry of Culture.
What Relevance Does This Discovery Have?
The end of the Etruscan civilization and the expansion of the Roman empire, which were characterized by wars and conflicts across modern-day Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio, are now better-understood thanks to the discovery, according to Jacopo Tabolli, who oversaw the excavation for the University for Foreigners in Siena.
However, the bronze statues, which have both Latin and Etruscan inscriptions, provide proof that Roman and Etruscan households worshipped to the same gods at the hot baths’ sacred sanctuary.
According to Tabolli, “during the second and first centuries B.C., social and civil battles were raging outside the sanctuary, while inside the sanctuary, the great aristocratic Etruscan and Roman families prayed together in an atmosphere of serenity surrounded by turmoil.”
There are Latin and Etruscan inscriptions on the statues honoring the fountain’s deity. We are discussing ancient works of art that contribute to and open a new chapter in the history and study of bronze sculptures and religious rituals in the time between the Etruscans and the Romans, he continued.
Since the majority of the remaining artifacts from this era are predominantly made of terracotta, the discovery also represents the greatest deposit of bronzes from this time period in Italy.
The Italian Culture Ministry has suggested the creation of a new museum to house the sculptures in the area as a result of the enormously significant Mediterranean find.