Pendant Cross

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 300

This small cross would haven been strung on a necklace or string and worn around the neck. It is decorated with a pattern of incised circles. Similar patterns of concentric circles are found throughout early Byzantine art. These circles may have represented the reflective qualities of mirrors, which in the ancient and early Byzantine world were believed to deflect evil.

Crosses were everywhere in the early Byzantine world. They marked religious, secular, and domestic buildings, public works, clothes and jewelry, and objects in the home. The cross was a sign of Christ's triumph over death and the hope of eternal life and was frequently ascribed apotropaic, or protective, powers by the faithful.

Pendant Cross, Bone

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.