Treasure Trove of Perfect Votive Offerings Found at Etruscan Thermal Baths
It’s amazing what treasures people will throw away in the hope of winning the favor of the gods. Rare items used as votive offerings found in an “exceptional state of preservation” have been discovered at the celebrated San Casciano dei Bagni Etruscan baths in Tuscany, Italy. Archaeologists working at this thermal spring complex which developed in the 4th century BC, have discovered a treasure trove of votive offerings, coins, and stone carvings.
Votive Offerings, Coins, and Symbols of Fertility
In addition to the rare ancient votive offerings found at the Tuscany site, 3,000 ancient coins, of which a fourth are freshly minted and still shiny, have also been found, reports CNN. These coins, made of gold, silver, orichalcum, and bronze, have been dated to the reigns of Augustus, the Flavian emperors, Trajan, Hadrian, and Marcus Aurelius. Orichalcum coins, a valuable yellow alloy of gold and copper prized by the ancient Greeks and Romans, were found in the biggest bath.
The Tuscany find is the largest ancient currency haul found at any of the thermal springs in the Mediterranean. And nearly everything discovered was found in a near-perfect state of preservation, including original colors.
This excellent state of preservation was the result of the water’s chemical properties and the lack of oxygen in the mud layers at bottom of the pools.