Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Relief depicting a standing lion, coat of arms of the Lusignans, kings of Cyprus and Jerusalem
Limestone and traces of black paint
H: 71; W: 44; D: 54 cm
Israel Antiquities Authority
Accession number: IAA 1936-2200
Heraldic devices, or “coats of arms,” developed in the 12th century as a means by which medieval knights identified one another on the battlefield, since their faces were hidden behind armor. Coats of arms were personal or family emblems, first worn on shields and later on helmets and tunics. Eventually they were applied to the knight’s possessions and carved on the walls of his property.

Rozenberg, S. (ed.), Knights of the Holy Land: The Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1999

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir