Updated: Apr 30
The immense treasure found in San Casciano dei Bagni, consisting of 24 bronze statues, as well as five thousand gold, silver and bronze coins and ex voto, re-emerged from the mud of the thermal waters, represents a discovery of great importance, above all because for the first time we are faced with an inviolate context since ancient times of a religious and ritual nature with all the information that this can provide to scholars who know other Etruscan and Roman bronzes of this beauty and importance but which, for the first time, can see them in the original lying conditions ". This is the most exciting aspect of the discovery in the province of Siena, which sheds light onto the union between Latin and Etruscan communities. We see the bronzes not where they were consecrated at the time as the offer of the ex voto but where they ended up when the sanctuary ceased to be. This discovery is extraordinary: all the other findings of this type that have been made have not maintained information on the context ". Since the discovery of 'The Chimera of Arezzo', a votive bronze with an inscription that consecrates it to Tinia, the Zeus of the Etruscans, was discovered in the mid-sixteenth century, the fashion of the Etruscan Bronzes spread. Everyone, starting with the Medici were collecting them and this caused an immense dispersion of a unique heritage that we see intact in San Casciano ". Another joy of the discovery is seeing the continuity of worship, with the transition from the late Etruscan to the Roman imperial phase complete with re-interpretation of religion between the Etruscan and Roman world with the accompanying Etruscan and Latin inscriptions ". The continuity of worship was maintained thanks to the thermal springs at the place which made it important for both Etruscan and Romans. Other sanctuaries, in fact, not having thermal waters or sources, were often abandoned. The 24 bronze statues discovered in San Casciano dei Bagni (SI) will be restored in Florence, at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure
Aerial view of San Casciano dei Bagni archeological dig site where te statuettes were found; partitioned, next to the road are the hot water pools open free to the public - and marvellous they are, too! Across the road from the pools is where the actual spring comes from the Mother Earth since the beginning of time.