The dominance of the domed cruciform church from the 9th century caused a decline in ecclesiastical architectural sculpture. A rare example of sculpture are the marble relief icons. The relief sarcophagi are associated with changes in burial customs and with the rise of the social class of the 'dynatoi' (the powerful big landowners).
Among the works of Middle Byzantine metalwork the myrrh (aromatic oil) flasks bear witness to the spread of the cult of the "myrrh-exuding" saints of Thessalonike, while the lead seals provide important evidence on people and dates. The rare luxury items that have survived from the Middle Byzantine period are to be found in Thessalonike and on Mount Athos.