Aug 18, 2009
Aug 18, 2009

Columbarium Tomb Plaque with the Monogram of Christ

Columbarium Tomb Plaque with the Monogram of Christ



(Visigothic or Byzantine)


Overall: 32.4 x 20.8 cm (12 3/4 x 8 3/16 in.)

Weight: 5.897 kg (13 lbs.)

Gift of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. 1938.160


This thick clay plaque covered a burial niche that contained the remains of the deceased in a simple communal tomb complex called a columbarium. The chi-rho monogram of Christ identifies the deceased as a Christian. The monogram was seen as representing Christ’s victory over death, while the letters that flank it, alpha and omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, symbolize Christ as the beginning and end of all things.

See also
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 

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