Clay Lamps

The University of Pennsylvania excavators found over four hundred and fifty clay lamps in their excavation, many of which showed black soot-marks from use. Lamps were a common means of lighting in the Byzantine world, as Geoffrey Shamos writes, being cheap to manufacture and decorate in bulk. Only five of the collection are shown above; the large museum collections awaits adequate cataloguing and photographic recording.

Provenience: from the excavations of the LTN and LTW. Lamps were also found in debris, as well as in cisterns.

Date: 350-700 C.E.

Further Reading:

M.G. Parani and Laskarina Bouras, Lighting in Early Byzantium (Dumbarton Oaks, 2008)

For comparative material, see for instance R. Rosenthal and R. Sivan, Ancient Lamps in the Schloessinger Collection (Jerusalem, 1978)