Middle East

Storm unearths Roman-era statue in Israel

Media captionThe statue is estimated to be at least 1,700 years old

A Roman statue buried for centuries has been unearthed after a massive storm battered Israel's coast, officials say.

The white marble statue of a woman was found after a cliff collapsed in the city of Ashkelon.

The statue - which lacks a head and arms - dates back about 1,800-2,000 years, officials at the Israel Antiquities Authorities (IAA) believe.

However, the storm also caused some damage to the Roman-era port of Caesarea.

Israel's officials are due to visit the area to assess the damage.

'Delicately carved sandals'

"The big storm earlier this week caused the cliff to collapse," IAA spokeswoman Yoli Schwartz was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

She added that "a statue from Roman times was found by a passer-by".

The statue weighs about 200kg (440lb) and stands 1.2m (4ft) tall.

Although its head and arms were missing, "delicately carved sandals" remained intact, Ms Schwartz said.

The IAA has already removed the statue from the site to study it.

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