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 terracotta oil lamp dating to the Middle Bronze Age, circa 2200-1550 BC. The lamp is modelled in light terracotta and features a single pinched spout and a flattened base. The spout would have held a wick which, soaked in combustible would have been lit in order to provide light and fire for every households.Some dark deposits to the spout. Lamps of this type firstly appeared during the Middle Bronze Age I Period, and continued to be made until 1550 BC.
Period: Middle Bronze Age I Period
Condition: Some encrustation within the bowl and on the underside, traces of soot deposits on the spout, overall surface wear.