The European-style matrices carved on this stone are thought to have been used for the decoration of Crusader gear made of hardened leather (cuir-boille) or gesso. They may have decorated ailettes, small shields worn on the shoulders by Crusaders. The two elegant fish are mullet, Mullus barbatus.
Excavated from Chamber K of Montfort/Starkenburg Castle (near modern Akko, Israel).
Dean, Bashford. "A Crusaders' Fortress in Palestine: a Report of Explorations Made by the Museum, 1926." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, o.s., 22, no. 9, pt. 2 (September 1927). pp. 26, 34, fig. 39.
Nickel, Helmut. "About Ailettes and Achselschilde." Waffen- und Kostümkunde. Zeitschrift für Waffen- und Kleidungsgeschichte 44, no. 2 (2002). pp. 205, 207, fig. 15.
Boas, Adrian J. Montfort Castle: The Western Wing and the Great Hall. Haifa, 2012. p. 82, fig. 116.