They date from between the 2nd century BC and the 1st century AD.
Thousands of coins and votive offerings have also been discovered in remains of sacred Etruscan and Roman baths dating back over 2,300 years. The 24 statues were most likely made by local artisans. They were discovered in a sanctuary with bubbling pools, sloping terraces, fountains and altars that dates back to at least the third century BC and was in use until the fifth century AD, University of Siena archaeologist Jacopo Tabolli told the Italian news agency ANSA.
“This is a discovery that will rewrite history and on which more than 60 experts from all over the world are already working,” announced archaeologist Jacopo Tabolli, lecturer at the University of Siena, who has been leading the archaeological project since 2019. The large number of inscriptions in Etruscan and Latin is also interesting.
Massimo Osanna, director general of the Italian museums, spoke of the “most important discovery since the discovery of the Riace bronzes” in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Calabria in the 1970s. Just a few days after taking office, the new Italian Minister of Culture, Gennaro Sangiuliano, visited the site. “This is an extraordinary find that once again confirms that Italy is a land of immense and unique treasures, because the stratification of the different civilizations is unique in Italian culture,” commented the minister.
Chance for “a whole new chapter”
The remains of the Etruscan thermal baths were found in the municipality of san Casciano discovered with about 1,600 inhabitants, which is still known for its thermal baths. The municipality has restored the thermal baths that the Tuscan Medici ruling family used to visit in the 16th century.
The excavation work is now being stopped and will resume in the spring. Winter will serve to restore the bronze statues. “It will be teamwork, just as it has always been,” emphasized Tabolli. The work will involve the University of Siena, the Italian Ministry of Culture, the local municipality and specialists from other universities around the world. “Everyone together has the unique opportunity to write a completely new chapter in ancient history,” emphasized Tabolli.