Italian authorities on Tuesday announced the extraordinary discovery of 2,000-year-old ancient bronze statues in an ancient Tuscan thermal spring in central Italy. They said the find will “rewrite history” about the transition from the Etruscan civilization to the Roman Empire.
More than 24 bronze statues were discovered in ancient thermal springs in Tuscany, central Italy
The statues were discovered in San Casciano Dei Bagni, a hilltop town in the Siena province, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) north of Rome, where archaeologists have been exploring the muddy ruins of an ancient bathhouse since 2019. “It is a very significant, exceptional finding,” Jacopo Tabolli, an assistant professor from the University for Foreigners in Siena who coordinates the dig, told Reuters on Tuesday. Tabolli called the find “a discovery that will rewrite history” given that it is “the greatest store of statues from ancient Italy and in any case the only one whose context we can wholly reconstruct.”
The statues are said to rewrite Italy’s history between the Etruscan civilization and the Roman Empire
The 24 partly submerged statues, which date back 2,300 years and have been hailed as the most significant find of their kind in 50 years, include a sleeping ephebe lying next to Hygeia, the goddess of health, with a snake wrapped around her arm.
Initial analysis of the 24 statues, believed to have been made by local craftsmen between the second century BC and the first century AD, as well as countless votive offerings discovered at the site, indicates that the relics perhaps originally belonged to elite Etruscan and Roman families, landowners, local lords, and Roman emperors.