Image: A recently unearthed female sculpture in the archaeological site of the Antique Roman city of Skupi
Boris Grdanoski  /  AP
A recently unearthed female sculpture in the archaeological site of the Antique Roman city of Skupi is hailed as an ancient masterpiece.
updated 7/10/2008 2:40:36 PM ET 2008-07-10T18:40:36

Macedonian archaeologists say they have discovered a well-preserved statue of the goddess of love in the ruins of an ancient Roman city near Skopje.

Archaeologist Marina Oncevska said Thursday that the 5.6-foot-tall marble Venus is a masterpiece of ancient art executed in the late classical Greek tradition.

It dates to the second or third century.

Oncevska said archaeologists found the statue Tuesday in the ruins of Scupi on the northwest outskirts of Macedonia's capital.

"The smoothness of the marble and the beauty of the statue give us the clue that this masterpiece came from one of the best artistic schools in the Mediterranean," she said.

The goddess is depicted coyly covering her groin and breasts with her hands and has a dolphin attached to her left leg.

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