Terracotta Tomb Plaque

Date: 400–800

Culture: Spanish

Medium: Terracotta

Dimensions: Overall: 13 1/8 x 8 1/2 x 2 3/8 in. (33.3 x 21.6 x 6 cm)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: Gift of John Crosby Brown Moore, 1985

Accession Number: 1985.147


This plaque is thought to be a cover for a niche in a columbarium, or communal tomb. The Christogram--the monogram for Christ's name formed from the first two letters of his name in Greek (x and p), identifies the deceased as Christian. Scholars debate the meaning of the inscription in Latin, which may be a prayer for the deceased.