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An Early Medieval Golden Reliquary Cross from Zagórzyce, Świętokrzyskie voiv. (PL)

Anna Kubica-Grygiel and Michał Grygiel

Published online:

01 Oct 2018



A unique golden cross with an embossed depiction of Christ crucified and filigree border was discovered without specific context at multicultural site 1 in Zagórzyce, Kazimierza Wielka District (PL). This artifact is a most impressive example of Early Medieval box-like cross-shaped pendants – unequivocally associated with Christian symbolism – and should be considered to have been a personal reliquary container. The box-like reliquary crosses that most closely parallel the find from Zagórzyce come from discoveries generally dated to the eleventh century. The Zagórzyce reliquary probably comes from a similar period, as it uses an archaic form of Greek cross with slightly flared-out arms, which is found among pendants dated to the tenth century or earlier. It was probably produced at the end of the tenth or in the eleventh century in an area west of Poland, perhaps in the Holy Roman Empire.

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