Ancient Roman statue unearthed in Israel storm

The stormy weather that hit Israel this week had an unexpected consequence when an ancient Roman statue was unearthed on an Ashkelon beach.

A passer-by noticed the headless marble statue, thought to be at least 1700 years old, after the storm left it exposed in the sand. The white marble figure, which is 1.2 metres tall and weighs 200 kilograms, is wearing a toga but no longer has arms.

A spokesman for the Israel Antiquities Authority said that what was thought to be part of a Roman bathhouse was also unearthed.

The violent winds were believed to have caused some damage to the ancient Roman ruins further north in Israel at Caesarea.

    Last updated: 9:50am, December 15 2010