Courtesy Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums

A three-petaled lily symbol fills the hexagonal inner space in the center of the six-pointed star. Found on a marble plaque in a Byzantine church at Khirbet es-Safi in the Negev in Israel, the lily was a well-known motif in the Byzantine repertoire of Christian iconography. The lily form on this church plaque resembles the stylized lilies dividing the open vaults on the Jerusalem ring. The ivory relief is evidence that the lily motif was used in Christian iconography as early as the Byzantine period. The six pointed star was not adapted as the shield of David, a Jewish symbol, until medieval times.