Courtesy Archaeological Exploration of Sardis

Nibbling at the cross, rabbits depicted on a flask found in shop E5 represent the humility of Christians who put their trust in Christ. Made of elegantly molded terra-cotta, the flask displays many examples of Byzantine iconography. On the side shown, the branches and leaves growing from the cross mark it as the Tree of Life, a metaphor used since apostolic times. The three-lobed leaves probably symbolized the Trinity; the crosses on them suggest that they represent communion bread. On the other side of the flask, two geese eating grapes add to the eucharistic symbolism. The lack of Sardian mica in the flask’s clay indicates that it came from elsewhere, perhaps a pilgrimage site.