Tyre is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, located in modern-day Lebanon. The Romans conquered it in the 1st Century BC, but the city benefitted from its status of “civitas foederata” which enabled it to remain rather independent under Roman rule. A very important commercial port, the city was the neighbouring Damascus’s elected seaway and also connected with the Silk road trade. Furthermore, Tyre was renown in antiquity for the production of high-quality purple dye, named after the city itself, and linen.
The Roman oil lamp, a product almost unparalleled in its distribution throughout the Empire, developed towards the end of the Hellenistic period and was to keep its general shape longer than any other item of pottery throughout the Mediterranean. The vast trade networks set with the expansion of the Roman Empire allowed this item to be spread across Europe, Eastern Asia and Northern Africa.
To discover more about the ancient origins of oil lamps, visit our relevant post: Oil Lamps in Antiquity.