"The finding sheds a new light on the history of Volterra, which is most famous for its Etruscan legacy. It shows that during the emperor Augustus's rule, it was an important Roman center," she added.
Photos: Bronze-Age Battle Frozen in Time
One of the most powerful Etruscan cities, Volterra fell under Roman rule in the 1st century B.C.
The most striking monument dating to the Roman period is a theater built in the Augustan age, which is one of the finest and best preserved Roman theaters in Italy. It stands about a mile from the newly discovered arena.
With the help of ground penetrating radar and a digital survey by Carlo Battini, of the University of Genoa, Dicca Department, the archaeologists were able to estimate that much of the amphitheater lies at a depth of 20 to 32 feet. So far the survey dig has been funded by the Cassa di Risparmio bank of Volterra.
"We are hoping to find more sponsors and funding to excavate this wonder. We believe that within three years it could be fully brought to light," Sorge said.