The pelta (also known as the "Amazon shield") is a crescent-shaped symbol characterized by
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Amazon with pelta

two recesses at its upper edge. In mythology, it is associated with the Amazon warriors, who are portrayed in ancient artwork as carrying peltae into battle. This symbol became a popular form in Greco-Roman art, and its usage in mosaics and other kinds of artistry spread throughout the Hellenized and Roman world.

As a religious symbol, the pelta was adopted by Samaritan Christians of the first few centuries of the Common Era to represent their identity as distinct from the Jews, and perhaps to gain acceptance from their Roman overlords, since they were often persecuted. Remains of Samaritan buildings and graves evidence their use of the symbol.

Samaritan pelta and cross

Samaritan cross and pelta stone carvings

Today, the pelta is employed as a tribal emblem of the Isars, a Hebrew ethnoreligious group that claims descent from Christianized Samaritans of Dalmatia. They employ this symbol alongside others as being representative of their heritage and identity.
Flag of Makir (Pelta red tribal emblem)

tribal flag of Makir (used by Isaric Christians)

External links

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