The Riace Bronzes: Warriors Rescued From the Sea8:56 AM
On 21 and August 22, 1972 near the Ionian coast of Marina di Riace, the police and the men of the Archaeological Superintendence of Reggio Calabria made a spectacular recovery of two large bronze statues, buried for centuries under the sand of the sea bottom: from then on they were known as the Riace bronzes. The statues had been sighted six days before by Stefano Mariottini, a Roman chemist doing underwater fishing.
It was the first great mass phenomenon related to underwater archeology: ancient beauty seems to have an almost immediate impact in our time. The need for beauty is still connected to Greek culture, Greek beauty is still the most understandable; it was founded on nature with a strong intellectual foundation, the artists were also men expert in geometry and theoretical calculation.
The soil inside the statues was analyzed and it became clear that the so-called Bronze A - the younger one with the "nasty" air, teeth coated in silver, a peremptory look, a position turning to his right - had been cast in the city of Argos,The other statue, Bronze B (the older one) would instead be Amphiaraus, a warrior prophet who foresaw his own death beneath the walls of Thebes. Both in fact participated in the legendary expedition of the city of Argos against Thebes, which had a disastrous ending.
The bronzes have considerable muscle elasticity being in a position defined as "chiasmus" (from the Greek letter "chi"). More specifically, bronze A (the Young man) appears more nervous and vital, while bronze B (the Old man) seems more relaxed. The statues convey a remarkable sense of power, mainly due to the arms being strongly distanced from the body. The bent arm was certainly holding a shield, the other hand a weapon. Bronze B's head is oddly shaped and appears small because it allowed the placement of a Corinthian helmet. The right arm and the left arm of the B underwent a second welding, probably for a restoration in antiquity.