Roman baths at San Casiano dei bagni reveal treasures

San Casciano Roman baths in Siena reveal sacred treasure

By Region Central Italy Culture News

The ancient site of Roman baths at San Casciano dei Bagni, a small hamlet in Siena, has revealed yet more treasures. The lead archaeologist calls it “a site without equal”.

The thermal waters of San Casciano are still a popular tourist feature. Archaeologists have been working at the ancient bath site for three years. Already, they have discovered a large pool, votive objects, a bas relief, altars and a bronze putto.

Archaeologist Jacopo Tabolli told ANSA they have discovered the true size of the sanctuary. Initially Etruscan, the Romans renovated it, making it monumental. Indeed, it was considered so exceptional, the mint was ordered to produce coins made of silver, orichalcum and bronze. Perhaps they were used for the emperor’s own offerings to honour the gods.

“It’s a site without equal in Italy or in the ancient Mediterranean,” said Tabolli to ANSA. “It’s an exceptional discovery because of the size of the area of the sanctuary, which is much larger than we could have imagined, with several holy buildings, altars, pools,” he explained.

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However, what is astonishing is the quality and rarity of the objects to have emerged from the dig in recent weeks. The most important is a bronze womb dating to the years between the end of the Roman Republic and the start of the Roman Empire.

“Terracotta wombs are often found in Etruscan and Roman temples devoted to fertility; bronze ones are extremely rare,” the professor explained.

Work will restart in the autumn at the San Casciano Roman baths. Who knows what other treasures will be unearthed.   

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