Unique Christ Pantocrator Medallion on display at Çorum Museum
A 1,500-year-old golden medallion depicting a figure of Jesus Christ is on display at a museum in Turkey’s northern province of Çorum.
The medallion was found by treasure hunters during illegal excavations in 2017 and was later seized by security teams after a successful anti-smuggling operation. The medallion has been included in the inventory of the Çorum Museum.
The artifact is exhibited in a special showcase in the museum and is of great interest to people visiting the museum.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, archaeologist Resul İbiş said the medallion was “one of the most precious items at the museum.”
Noting that the medallion named Christ Pantocrator Medallion is unique, İbiş said: “The artifact depicts Jesus Christ holding the Bible in his left hand with his right hand raised in blessing. This is one of the most used depictions in Christian art. This depiction, which we usually see in churches, icons and mosaics, has been seen for the first time on a gold coin, engraved in Najaf stone on a gold filigree,” he added.
Stating that the Çorum Museum has thousands of artifacts that shed light on history, İbiş said that the medallion was one of them.
“This is a fine example of the anthropomorphic and pictorial art of expression aimed at expressing the sacred. These types of iconography work, which are regarded as an indispensable part of the rituals in the Orthodox belief, depict Jesus the Christ, the Virgin Mary and the saints of the church. Like many branches of Christian art, such iconography works also originate from the ancient Hittite, pagan and ancient traditions,” he said.
The religious descriptions of holy people increased in the fourth and fifth centuries, İbiş said, noting that such artifacts were used to keep the memory of holy people alive and to evoke a sense of glorification about them while teaching religion to believers.
Stating that they can obtain information about the past thanks to the discovery of such historical artifacts, İbiş said: “In this respect, this piece is very important, and the fact that it is a unique item further increases its importance. Both the gold embroidery and the quality of workmanship in the carvings on the stone are also remarkable.”