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Ancient Etruscans prayed at sacred hot springs, stunning statues reveal

Archaeologists in Italy have unearthed more than two dozen 2,000-year-old bronze statues, many of which are impeccably preserved in millennia of mud, alongside thousands of coins left there by Romans and Etruscans, a mysterious people who once ruled parts of the Italian Peninsula and whose language has yet to be deciphered.

Since 2019, archaeologists have been digging in San Casciano dei Bagni, a commune in the central Italian region of Tuscany, and their persistence has paid off. The ancient statues are the largest concentration of bronze statues from that time period ever found in Italy and include pieces that depict Apollo and Hygeia, the ancient Greek god and goddess of health. Some of the statues also contain Etruscan and Latin inscriptions, according to a translated statement (opens in new tab). (The Etruscan written language uses the Latin alphabet, but researchers haven’t been able to decipher the words.)

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