Archaeologists discover rare figurine in Jerusalem – a boxer?

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israeli archaeologists say they have discovered a rare 1,800-year-old figurine in a Jerusalem excavation.

Dating from the time of the Roman Empire, the five-centimeter (2-inch) marble bust depicts the head of a man with a short curly beard and almond-shaped eyes.

A statement Monday from the Israel Antiquities Authority says nothing similar has been found before in the country.

The archaeologists believe it could depict an athlete, possibly a boxer. They think it was used as a weight and might have belonged to a merchant.

It was found in the ruins of a building destroyed by an earthquake in the fourth or fifth century. The dig outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City also recently yielded a well-preserved gold earring inlaid with pearls and a trove of more than 250 gold coins.

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