Saturday, November 06, 2010

1015 or LOIS?

This stone carving has long puzzled me: is it 1015 or IOIS?

It lies abandoned in a Norman churchyard, but if it is genuine period stone carving it could be the first instance of the use of Arabic numerals in Europe. The church, Notre-Dame-sur-l'Eau in Domfront, was founded in 1014, it sits on the famous pilgrimage route to Santiago-de-Compostela and was a favourite of the Plantagenets when the Angeivin empire flourished. Let me know what you make of it. 

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