A necessary element of Christian Orthodox worship is the presence of Holy Icons. This element is met not only in all the places of worship, the churches, but in the houses of common Christians as well. This tradition resulted in the development of Iconography, starting from the first century after Christ.
Due to the reverence that is focused on them, the endeavour to preserve them caused the accumulation in Greece of a great number of icons. The oldest of them are dated from the 10th century but most of them belong to the 14th or later centuries. Particularly in Mt. Athos, according to a rough estimate, there must be around 18,000 portable icons.Artistic styles in icons follow the same chronological patterns as in mural paintings.
See also a selection of Mt. Athos portable icons