| Description | | Exhibits |

The Early Christian church

Silver reliquary
The Nea Herakleia reliquary

This reliquary is a typical example of Early Christian metalwork. It consists of a rectangular box with hinged lid, both made of hammered silver. The lid has been reconstituted in several places. The reliquary is decorated with relief scenes on all four sides. The main side depicts the passing of the law to saints Peter and Paul (Traditio legis), while the representations on the other three sides are inspired from the Old Testament: the Three Hebrews, Daniel in the Lion's Den and Moses receiving the Law. The lid is decorated with a cross flanked by the apocalyptic letters α (alpha) and ω (omega) on the top, and a vine scroll with grapes along the sides. The reliquary's relief decoration betrays a strong influence of Hellenistic prototypes, which typified the art of Constantinople during the reign of Theodosius I. The reliquary is attributed to a Thessaloniki workshop.

Exhibit Features
Date: Early Byzantine period, End of the 4th century AC
Place of discovery: Nea Irakleia
Dimensions: length: 0,12 m, width: 0,095 m, height: 0,095 m
Material: silver
Inventory number: ΒΑ 71
Copyright: Hellenic Ministry of Culture
  Suggestive Bibliography
Μιχαηλίδης Μ., "Αργυρά λειψανοθήκη του Μουσείου Θεσσαλονίκης", ΑΑΑ 2/1, (1969), 48-49
Panayotidi M., Grabar A., 'Un reliquaire paleochretien recemment decouvert pres de Thessalonique", CArch 24, (1975), 33-42