The Bronzi di Riace (English: Riace bronzes), sometimes Riace Warriors, (460–430 BCE) are two large monumental Greek bronze sculptures. The statues are of nude bearded warriors. It is possible the statues depict two individuals. It is more likely that they represent types. Rich Romans were collectors of Greek sculpture. It is probable the two warriors were being transported from their original site in Greece to one in Rome. Since the two warriors share so many similarities, they probably formed part of one Greek monument.
The bronzes were found in the Ionian Sea on 16 August 1972 by Stefano Mariottini. He was on a scuba diving vacation near Reggio Calabria, Italy. The sculptures were found not far from shore at Riace Marina, a village near Porto Foricchio. The area was on an important shipping lane between the ports of Rome and the coastal cities of Greece. The bronzes may have been in an ancient shipwreck. They were either ripped from their moorings or thrown overboard to lighten the load.
The eyes are made of bone and glass. The teeth are made of silver. The lips and nipples are made of copper. The warriors once held spears and shields. One warrior once wore a helmet pushed up atop his head. The bronzes are in the Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia in Reggio Calabria.
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- Houser, p. 116
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