A reliquary is an early locket created with the purpose of holding a religious relic. These often took the form of a pendant so that the relic could be worn and displayed at all times. Cruciform reliquary pendants were extremely popular during the Byzantine era and were elaborately decorated with cloisonne enamel. Other pendant shapes were richly decorated with images and symbols of the saints whose relics were encased within.

Byzantine Reliquary Depicting St. George. The Pendant Opening to Reveal Four Relic Compartments and a Hinged Panel. The Interior Panel Decorated by an Enamel Representation of St Demetrius in the Tomb Concealing a Recumbent Golden Figure.
© Trustees of the British Museum.