In Tuscany a new Riace, 24 statues re-emerge: 'Discovery that rewrites history'

In San Casciano dei Bagni an exceptional find: after 2300 years, perfectly preserved bronzes, votive offerings, inscriptions, thousands of coins from the Etruscan and Roman eras have re-emerged from the basins of a sanctuary. “Intact thanks to the mud and water that protected them”

 excavations-statues-bronze-san-casciano-bagni The Etruscan and Roman statues found in San Casciano dei Bagni, in Tuscany Photo

“A discovery that will rewrite history and on which over 60 experts from all over the world are already working” says Jacopo Tabolli, archaeologist and professor at the University for Foreigners of Siena. He talks about the 24 bronze statues found intact and in perfect condition in San Casciano dei Bagni, in Tuscany. From the excavations underway since 2019, a real votive sanctuary from the Roman era has re-emerged, protected for 2300 years in a miraculous way, having re-emerged from the mud and boiling water. A young ephebe, an Hygieia with a snake coiled on her arm, an Apollo still semi-submerged and then matrons, children, various divinities. Alongside the statues, some of large dimensions, there are also thousands of coins, votive offerings, Latin and Etruscan inscriptions and many vegetable offerings of great interest preserved on the bottom of the tank. All dating back to a period between the 2nd century BC. and the 1st century AD. – Photo

Francesco Totti with Noemi Bocchi at son Cristian's party Francesco Totti with Noemi Bocchi at son Cristian's party

A MUSEUM WILL BE BORN - One immediately thinks of Riace and those two statues that re-emerged from the sea 50 years ago, but it is the experts themselves who refer to that exceptional find. 'The most important discovery from the Riace Bronzes and certainly one of the most significant bronze finds ever made in the history of the ancient Mediterranean', comments the general director of museums of the Ministry of Culture Massimo Osanna. The found statues will soon be placed in a sixteenth-century building in the Tuscan village whose purchase Osanna has just approved. An extraordinary new museum, but in the meantime we continue to study and restore the found material which also tells us of an integration of peoples that took place two millennia ago, that between the Etruscans and Romans who here seem to have continued to coexist and integrate into the cult of the deities.

INTEGRATION BETWEEN PEOPLES - The sanctuary remained active until the 5th century AD. until the advent of the Christian religion, at which point it was closed but not destroyed. The votive tanks were sealed and the statues of the deities immersed in water. Having removed the large stone slabs that blocked the passage and, involuntarily, hid the treasure, the archaeologists found themselves in front of the testimony of how the wealthy local families ended up integrating with the new Roman lords.