The rediscovered Sanctuary
It has always been known that San Casciano dei Bagni was a renowned for its thermal baths since the Etruscan and Roman times. Even so, archeologist did not have fully understand of how important the healing thermal waters of the village were in ancient times.
During the Summer of 2020, in the area known as “Bagno Grande” – “Great Bath”, during an archaeological dig an extraordinary Sanctuary, linked to the healing properties of the thermal waters, came to light.
The great Sanctuary, built by the Etruscan as early as the 4th BC and later made more lavish by the Romans, is set next to the largest and warmest (41.5 °C) of the 38 thermal springs that dot the territory of San Casciano.
The cornerstone of this sacred area is a large travertine pool where the worshippers would leave offerings to the goddess Isis, Fortuna Primigenia, both related to fertility, and the gods Apollo, Ercole and Aesculapius, all linked to medicine and health.
What makes this discovery unique is the fact that the treasure of artefacts and relics, sculpted in the shape of miniature body parts, were recovered in an exceptionally well-preserved state thanks to the layers of mud that covered the site.
The excavation has also brought to light around 3000 coins made of bronze, silver and orichalcum (a precious metal used by the ancient Romans) in their original colouring and a rare bronze statue of a baby, probably donated by a woman after giving birth, hoping to protect the baby’s health (following this ancient tradition, Christians display statues of baby Jesus at Christmas).
The excavation, carried out since 2020, are managed by the University of Siena and other Italian and international universities and carried on thanks to the help of volunteers from several different countries.
Visits to the archaeological site are managed by the volunteers of Eutyche Avidenia, the local archaeological association. IG:@gruppo_archeo_eutyche_avidiena
Since Summer 2020 the Sanctuary has donated incredible emotions. Each new excavation campaign brings new discoveries: follow all the updates on social media
FACEBOOK: Il Santuario Ritrovato – San Casciano dei Bagni