Italian authorities have announced the discovery of more than 2,000-year-old bronze statues in an ancient Tuscan thermal spring and said the find would “rewrite the history” of the transition from Etruscan civilization to the Roman state.
The statues are in excellent condition thanks to the mud that protected them from destruction. Additionally, more than 5,000 gold, silver and bronze coins were found. Jacopo Tabolli, who coordinated the excavations in Siena, said the discovery was significant because it sheds new light on the end of Etruscan civilization and the expansion of the Roman state between the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE.
The statues represent people or gods, body parts and organs that were usually sacrificed. The period between the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE it was marked by wars and conflicts in today’s Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio, yet the bronze statues testify that Etruscan and Roman families prayed together to the deities in the sacred sanctuary of the thermal springs. We know this because the statues bear both Etruscan and Latin inscriptions. Work continues and it is possible that more evidence from that period will be uncovered.