SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — 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. She says archaeologists found her Tuesday in the ruins of Scupi on the northwest outskirts of Macedonia's capital.

Oncevska says: "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."

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