Roman Amphitheater Unearthed in Volterra

Roman Amphitheater Unearthed in Volterra

volterraamphitheater1September 20, 2019- Today, I visited a previously undiscovered Roman-era amphitheater discovered just inside the ancient Etruscan city walls of Volterra. No one quite understands why there was no historical account of its existence, but apparently it is for real. Crumbing Roman-era stones dating back to the 1st century B.C. were pinpointed in a farmer’s field (perhaps from working the soil) near the Volterra cemetery property.

volterraamphitheater2Over the last few years, archaeologists have brought in ground-penetrating radar devices to located and define the structure lying 20 to 32 feet under dirt and vegetation. There appears to be three levels of seating and enough room to accommodate 10,000 people. This is very much a smaller version to the famous Colosseum in Rome! The structure is laid out in an oval shape measuring 262’ by 196’ and so far, a few tunnels and passageways have been unearthed.

volterraamphitheater3The land has been purchased by the government and just this month the first real excavations began. Today, I dropped by the site and observed a few men covering the newly excavated soil with white tarps, some digging around stones, and a few bringing in a new port-a-potty.

The Bank of Volterra has put up some seed money to get the excavation going, however, an estimated 5 million euros are needed to totally reveal the amphitheater.

This site is not open to the public and is a difficult walk from Volterra town center. As work progresses, I’ll update you on its progress.