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Finding a historic statue could save an Italian village: ‘Like looking for oil’

The 2,300-year-old statues were buried in mud and boiling water in a pool of hot springs. The site was used as a bathing facility and was probably built by the Etruscans in the 2nd century BC. It was later captured by the Romans, and emperors such as Augustus visited it.

Despite its small size, the Tuscan village of San Casciano dei Bagni near Siena remains one of the most visited tourist destinations in Italy.

Five bronze statues Its height is about a meter and one of them represents the goddess of health Hygeia. Archaeologists have also found more than 6000 coins and figurines believed to have been gifts to the gods.

The director-general of museum operations in the country described the discovery as the largest of its kind in 50 years.

– It is clearly one of the most important discoveries of bronze statues from the ancient history of the Mediterranean region, says Massimo Osanna to the Italian news agency. forget.

Archaeologist Jacopo Tobelli, who has worked on the excavations since 2019, goes further:

It is a discovery that will rewrite history and is already being worked on by more than 60 experts from all over the world.

Build 1 from 2

Photo: ABACA / Shutterstock

Build 2 from 2

Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

also mayor Agnese Carletti rejoices at this discovery. Today only 1,400 people live in the area around San Casciano dei Bagni, and with more people leaving the village, so do the economic challenges. She hopes the bronze statues will reflect this trend and bring tourists to the area.

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-Maybe all these gods can give us a little happiness, she says Watchman.

Martina Canotti, a resident of the village, says she has been visiting thermal springs since childhood. Later, she and her friends used to party at the venue.

– It’s strange to think that these treasures were so close, but we’ve always been curious as to why nothing was ever found. This is an area rich in spas built by the Etruscans and Romans, and a lot of ruins have been found in the neighboring towns, so why not San Casciano dei Bagni?

In addition to the statues, archaeologists have also found more than 6,000 coins and smaller statues that are believed to have been gifts to the gods.

Photo: Italian Ministry of Culture

old bathing complex It was active during the fourth century AD, but closed during the Christian era. Spring water is rich in minerals such as calcium and minerals and has been considered to increase fertility and is beneficial for the liver, according to Jacobo Tobelli.

– There were many rituals associated with pregnancy, so the topic of childbirth was extremely important. But this was definitely not drinkable water, because it is poisonous.

Next summer, the excavations will continue and archaeologists hope for new discoveries. But the Italian Ministry of Culture has now approved the purchase of a nearby 16th-century palace, where the finds can be displayed. There are also plans to turn the area around the springs into an archaeological park.