Byzantium, Palestine, early Byzantine period, early 7th Century
Tin-lead alloy with leather fragments, Overall: 6.3 x 4.6 x 1.5 cm (2 1/2 x 1 13/16 x 9/16 in.). John L. Severance Fund 1999.46
The images found on the sides of surviving lead pilgrims' ampullae include scenes relating to the life of Christ, and by extension to the holy sites (loca sancta) where the events took place. Cast into the sides of this ampulla are scenes of Christ's Crucifixion and Ascension. The use of such sacred images on these vessels illustrates the early Christian belief that images were carriers of divine power. This ampulla is known as a "Monza" or "Bobbio" type after caches of similar examples discovered in those two Italian towns.
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