Byzantine; Probably made in Constantinople
Bone plaques and ornamental strips over wood; silver lock plate
4 5/8 x 17 1/4 x 7 1/8 in. (11.7 x 43.8 x 18.1 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.237)
Bone caskets, used by the Byzantines in their homes, were often decorated with themes from classical antiquity. This casket shows an array of horsemen and soldiers, an enthroned military leader, and a winged youth holding a snake. In the Middle Ages, many such caskets reached Latin-speaking western Europe, where, despite their non-Christian decoration, they were used in churches as containers for relics.