Fragment of a Stele of the Virgin Mary from Georgia

Illustration

James Blake Wiener
by
published on 03 October 2017

This fragment was rediscovered in Davati village, located in eastern Georgia, in 1980. It was originally made in the 6th century CE from limestone. The standing figure of the Virgin Mary represents a unique iconographic type of the Virgin, coming from the oldest "Hodigitria-type." Next to the figures of the Virgin and baby Jesus are "condensed" inscriptions; "St. Mary" and "Jesus Christ." Steles or stone crosses ("kvajvari" in Georgian) are cult monuments carved from stone that were typical for the early Christian period in Georgia (c. 300-750 CE). Many of these steles have survived because they were reused as construction material for churches erected in the Middle Ages and Early Modern era. (Georgian National Museum, Tbilisi)



About the Author

James Blake Wiener
James is a writer and former Professor of History. He holds an MA in World History with a particular interest in cross-cultural exchange and world history. He is a co-founder of Ancient History Encyclopedia and its Communications Director.

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