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Italian archaeologists discovered a number of 2,000-year-old bronze statues in a thermal spring in Italy’s Tuscany region, a finding that could unveil new insights about the relationship between the ancient Romans and the Etruscan civilization, CBS News reported.
Researchers came across the artifacts while excavating a sacred basin in San Casciano dei Bagni near Siena.
They said the statues were in very good condition, allowing archaeologists to closely inspect details such as facial features and engraved inscriptions with the names of powerful Etruscan families.
The Italian Ministry of Culture said some of the artifacts depict deities, while others represent body parts and organs, which were used as offerings to the gods for medical cures.
The discovery is very significant because previous statues from the Etruscan and Roman ages were made of terracotta instead of bronze, which damages more easily.
Scholars noted the discovery “will rewrite history” because it highlights the transition period from Etruscan rule to Roman, which happened between the second and first centuries BCE.
The statues show that individuals from both sides worshiped together at the thermal spring where the new findings were unearthed.
These rituals occurred amid enormous instability and violence that plagued the era between the end of the Etruscan civilization and the start of Roman rule.