Attarouthi silver dove

  Attarouthi silver dove
Made in Attarouthi, Syria, late 6th–early 7th century

The dove, with wings spread and feet tucked up as if in flight, 
represents the Holy Spirit that appeared over the head of Christ as he 
 was baptized by Saint John the Forerunner (John 1:32). Early authors 
 mention the presence of doves over altars in churches from Constantinople 
to Tours in France. This is the earliest known example of the type. 
Originally a small cross hung from the loop in its beak.