ROMAN LAMP WITH A ROSETTE
Measurements: length - 7.8 cm, width - 6.9 cm
Description: Roman oil lamp in buff clay with rosette decoration around the filling hole with reddish-brown slip that has been worn out. A band of ovoloi on the outside, a maker’s mark on the back P – Y. A fine delicate piece.
Artificial light was common throughout the Roman Empire, and pottery oil lamps offered an alternative to candle light. Candles, made from beeswax or tallow, were cheaper to buy but do not survive as well. Pottery lamps functioned by adding oil through the central hole, and burning a wick placed into the nozzle area. Wicks were commonly made from pieces of linen, but could also be made from flax or papyrus.
Provenance: From an important 1970's collection of lamps found at Tyre in southern Lebanon.
Reference: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Period: 1st century AD
Condition: Very fine.
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