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Culture News Kingdom of Bahrain: Unearths Ancient Bronze Statues

A remarkable archaeological discovery of Etruscan and Roman statues, hailed as one of Italy most significant finds in decades, is set to be showcased this month. The collection, which owes its recovery in part to the intuition of a retired garbage man, comprises about two dozen bronze statues spanning from the third century BC to the first century AD.

These statues were meticulously extracted from the remains of an ancient spa and are now ready for public viewing at Rome’s Quirinale Palace from June 22, following an extensive restoration process, as reported by Reuters.

This archaeological revelation, unveiled in November, is regarded as Italy’s most extensive collection of ancient bronze statues to date. Experts have lauded it as a groundbreaking find that holds the potential to reshape historical narratives.

The statues were discovered between 2021 and 2022 in the elevated village of San Casciano dei Bagni, which is renowned for its thermal baths. Archaeologists had long suspected that the village concealed ancient ruins, yet initial attempts at discovery were fruitless.

The turning point came when Stefano Petrini, a former refuse collector turned amateur local historian, experienced a moment of intuition. Recalling a glimpse of ancient Roman columns years earlier on a wall near the public baths, Petrini guided archaeologists to the concealed location. These columns were only visible from an abandoned garden that once belonged to his late friend, a local greengrocer.

Petrini’s intuition proved invaluable, leading archaeologists to the precise spot. From this point, excavations unveiled a shrine at the heart of the ancient spa complex. The statues discovered within were offerings from Romans and Etruscans seeking divine favor for their well-being. Coins, sculptures of body parts, and other artifacts were also found.

Among the exceptional discoveries was a “scrawny boy” bronze statue, approximately 90 centimeters tall, portraying a young Roman with an apparent bone ailment. The inscription reveals his name as “Marcius Grabillo.” Ada Salvi, a Culture Ministry archaeologist, explained that this statue initially resembled that of an athlete, but meticulous cleaning revealed its unique identity.

The shrine, sealed at the beginning of the fifth century AD when the spa complex was abandoned, served as a time capsule, preserving these artifacts for centuries within the warm mud of the baths.

Excavations will resume later this month, with Emanuele Mariotti, head of the San Casciano archaeological project, expressing confidence in future discoveries. Following the Rome exhibition, the statues and artifacts are slated to find a permanent home in a museum in San Casciano, where the community hopes they will bring enrichment, culture, and rejuvenation to the village.

As the spotlight shines on this remarkable find, it is a reminder that significant discoveries often stem from the collective efforts of many individuals, reflecting a shared pursuit of understanding history’s intricate layers.

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