An unprecedented miniature portrait of a young, resolute, sexy Alexander the Great has emerged during excavations in Israel, archaeologist announced this week.
Engraved on a brilliantly red gemstone, the finely carved tiny head portrait is estimated to be 2,300 old, possibly dating to after the Macedonian king's death in 323 B.C.
Less than a half-inch long, the gemstone was found by a University of Washington student in the remains of a large public building from the Hellenistic period at Tel Dor, an archaeological site that once was a major port on Israel's Mediterranean coast.
Located about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Haifa, the village was indeed known to Alexander the Great, who passed through there in 332 B.C. on his way to Egypt. The people of Dor submitted to Alexander without resistance and remained a center of Greek culture in Israel for about two centuries, until it was conquered by Alexander Jannaeus, King of Judea, in 100 B.C.
A compelling evidence of exquisite Hellenistic minor art, the carving shows a head in left profile, with rather sexy features: wavy locks of hair, wide, deep-set eyes with an intense stare, high brows and fine-cut neck.