Year: 200-300 d.C.
Dimension: Lenght 10 cm
Late Roman, III-IV century A.D. A terracotta oil lamp with tab-shaped handle, large fill hole, ringed base and pronounced neck channel. Ex. private New Jersey collection, acquired over 20 years ago.
Aside from their basic functional use for indoor and outdoor illumination, lamps also served other purposes. They were buried in tombs and graves along with pottery, jewellery, and other symbolic gifts. They could also be dedicated as votive offerings to gods and goddesses in temples and sanctuaries. Lamps were made using a two-part mould. Wet clay was pressed into each half of the mould and then the two halves were joined together. They were allowed to dry slightly, and then the moulds were removed and the oil-hole and wick-hole were pierced by hand. Finally, the lamp was fired in a kiln for up to two days.