CAIRO (AP).- Archaeologists in Egypt said Tuesday they have discovered a headless granite statue of an unidentified Ptolemaic-era king that is more than 2,000 years old.
An Egyptian-Dominican team made the discovery at the temple of Taposiris Magna, west of the coastal city of Alexandria, said a statement from the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Alexandria was the seat of the Greek-speaking Ptolemaic Dynasty, which ruled Egypt for 300 years, until the suicide of Queen Cleopatra.
The statue's height is 53 inches (135 centimeters) and its width at the shoulders is 22 inches (55 centimeters).
"The well-preserved statue may be among the most beautiful carvings in the ancient Egyptian style," archaeology chief Zahi Hawass said.
Hawass said the statue could belong to King Ptolemy IV and represented the traditional shape of an ancient Egyptian king wearing collar and kilt.
Hawass said one of the temple's limestone foundation stones bears traces indicating the entrance was lined with a series of sphinx statues similar to those of the pharaonic era.
The joint mission began its excavation work at Taposiris Magna five years ago in an attempt to locate the tomb of the well-known lovers Queen Cleopatra and Mark Antony. Evidence suggests Cleopatra was not buried inside her tomb built beside her royal palace, which is now under the eastern harbor of Alexandria.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.