Architectural sculptures were the basic adornments of Early Christian basilicas. These mainly comprise column capitals, pilaster capitals, ornaments, iconostasis panels, and revetments of door frames decorated in relief with geometric patterns or themes taken from the plant and the animal world.
Of the various types of column capitals that occur, the main one is the so-called Theodosian (composite Corinthian with serrated acanthus) and its variations (with billowing leaves or two-banded with heads of rams or eagles in the upper register). The more simply decorated panels usually bear a geometric design enclosing crosses, palmettes, animals, birds and fish.
The Early Christian basilicas of Thessalonike are veritable sculpture museums with their architectural sculptures, many of which are carved from luxurious imported marbles (e.g. from Prokonnisos and Thessaly), preserved -in situ-.