London: A rare statue of Hercules, the Greek demigod who was ordered to undertake 12 superhuman tasks, has been found in Israel, it was reported here.

Dating back to second century AD, the smooth white marble statue stands at 0.5 metres.

"This statue is unusual because it is small. Most statues of gods from this period were life-size," daily quoted Walid Atrash of the Israel Antiquities Authority as saying.

Hercules was directed to perform the 12 superhuman feats by Mycenaean King Eurystheus to atone for the murder of his wife and three children.

The statue was excavated in Horvat Tarbenet area in the Jezreel Valley.