Oil lamps were used throughout antiquity to produce light with an oil-based fuel source. Craftsmen and artisans from the Holy Land were skilled in potting terracotta lamps which burned with the oil of the area’s abundant olive trees. The lamps’ designs, shape, and decorations all serve as indicators of the time and place of production, as well as of the culture and standard of living enjoyed by the lamps’ users. Oil lamps from the Holy Land differed in their decoration from the traditional motifs of other civilisations. Lamps were also used as metaphors in the Bible, as a testimony of how appreciated such artefacts were among the people of Eastern Mediterranean regions.
Holy Land Single Pinched Terracotta Oil Lamp
A Holy Land wheel thrown open, shallow saucer lamp with a pinched nozzle. This oil lamp has been hand folded to create a resting spout for the wick. Some dark deposits remain upon the terracotta surface. Lamps of this type firstly appeared during the Middle Bronze Age.
Period: Middle Bronze Age
Condition: Fine: Small chip visible on rim. Some encrustation within the bowl and on the underside, traces of soot deposits on the spout