Israeli archaeologists have discovered a rare, well-preserved 1,800-year-old figurine in an excavation in Jerusalem, the Israeli Antiquities Authority said.
Dating from the time of the Roman Empire, the 5-centimeter marble bust depicts the head of a man with a short curly beard and almond-shaped eyes.
"The high level of finish on the figurine is extraordinary, while meticulously adhering to the tiniest of details," the authority said Monday. Nothing similar has ever been uncovered in Israel, it said, calling it a "unique find."
Archaeologists believe the figurine was used as a weight for a hanging scale of a type common in the Roman period. Tiny holes drilled in the neck of the figurine were likely used to attach it to the scale, and remnants of metal remain. They think the figurine could portray an athlete, possibly a boxer.