Crusader; From Castle Montfort/Starkenberg
Limestone; 19 1/4 x 26 1/2 in. (48.9 x 67.3 cm)
Gift of Clarence H. Mackay, Archer M. Huntington, Stephen H. P. Pell and Bashford Dean, 1928 (28.99.1)
During the 1100s and 1200s, knights from western Europe trying to establish a Christian kingdom with Jerusalem as its capital built fortified settlements in the Holy Land. Established by French Crusaders in the 1100s, Castle Montfort was purchased in the 1220s by the Teutonic Knights, a German crusading order who rebuilt and renamed it Castle Starkenberg. This keystone was probably carved during the restoration. After the castle fell in 1272 to Baybars, the Mamluk sultan of Egypt, the surviving knights retired to Acre (now cAkko, Israel), the last Christian stronghold in the Holy Land. In 1926 the Museum participated in the excavation of the ruined castle.