Archaeologists on the island of Chios have discovered a rare life-sized marble statue of a youth dating to the mid-sixth century BC, the Ministry of Culture said yesterday. The statue, of a type known as the kouros, was found during a rescue excavation at Emborio - on the island's southern tip - without its head, while the legs from the knee down were missing. Archaeologists said the naked statue had only been half-finished, but it was unclear whether that would indicate the presence of a sculptor's workshop at Emborio. It was tentatively dated to 550 BC. The 96-centimeter-high statue is the only life-sized kouros of the Chiot school of sculpture to have been found on the island. The only other examples of the school discovered on Chios were two smaller korae - the female equivalent of the kouros - and a silver kouros statuette. The ancient town of Emborio, which was excavated by the British School at Athens in the 1950s, was founded in the eighth century BC and was abandoned some 600 years later. It was a coastal settlement, crowned by a castle.