Sacred pectoral cross. Photo: risu.org.ua
Engolpions* appeared in Kyivan Rus during the expansion of Christianity. The relics of saints or other sacred things were usually placed in the middle of these crosses. Archaeologists say that the images on the cross portray the spiritual life of Rus inhabitants at the dawn of Christianity in Kyivan Rus-Ukraine.
(*An engolpion is a sort of pectoral cross/medallion worn by Orthodox and Eastern-rite Catholics bishops and suspended from the neck by a chain-Ed.)
The crosses also testify to the metalworking skills of Kyivan Rus artisans.
The raised black engolpion has rounded ends and small bead-like ornaments along the upper and lower sections. The face side portrays the crucified Jesus and the reverse side shows an embedded carved cross.
It is supposed that the cross belonged to a priest buried in the old churchyard cemetery.
The relic is a very important archeological find as it testifies to the fact that in the 12th century a church was already standing and functioning on this territory of Ukraine.
However, the Church of St. Paraskeviya is in very bad condition and requires immediate reconstruction and renovation. It was even disconnected from the power supply to avoid any fires that might be caused by a short circuit.