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Calf of Man Crucifixion Altar Slab

Date made: c.800 AD

Description: This piece of local slate has one of the finest carvings of its type and period. It is around one thousand years old and was discovered on the Calf of Man in the 1700s. The stone is part of the central panel of an altar frontal. What happened to the other half of the panel is not known.

The carving shows Christ on the cross. The scene shows the robed figure of the still-living Christ – the eyes are open. To the left stands the spear-bearer. To the right, originally, would have been the sponge-bearer. Above the outstretched arms of Christ would have been two angels: the foot of one can just be seen.

The style of the carving tells us that the Isle of Man was being influenced by Irish and possibly Mediterranean religious art styles hundreds of years ago.

Measurements: overall: 65.3 cm x 24.8 cm x 3.5 cm

Materials: Stone

Date found: 1700

Object name: cross

Collection: Archaeology Collection

ID number: 1956-0011


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