From:Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities
About this objectThis lamp is an example of simple, mass-produced lamps commonly found all across the Roman Empire. They were modelled on lamps first manufactured in Italy and were reproduced in most provincial centres, often incorporating unique regional characteristics. As seen with this example, the common features of these lamps include a small circular oil chamber, a circular discus (the circular section on the top), and a small central filling hole. Like this example, lamps of this shape often have no handle.
The standardised shape of this type made lamps cheap to produce, easy to transport and undoubtedly economical to buy. This lamp has been made in a mould, which has been worn from much use. This example is part of a larger series of discus lamps produced at potteries around Cyprus. It reveals many common characteristics of the standard Cypriot discus lamp, including a raised ring around a central filling hole and a band of impressed marks on the shoulder, and the remains of a ring base. This example is unusual, however, in that the discus decoration includes a band of fine ridges. This is usually only found on Cypriot volute lamps.
The small handleless lamp with the raised ring became popular at the beginning of the second century CE. It is quite probable that our lamp is a rare transitional form, bridging the phasing out of the volute lamps and the introduction of the simpler discus lamps. Its estimated date range spans the end of the first century CE, when volute lamps were no longer fashionable, and the early second century CE, when the smaller lamps replaced them.
Date Madeca. 75-125 CE
Medium and MaterialsCeramic: Pottery
Style and IconographyRoman
Style and IconographyCypriote
MeasurementsLength 82mm; Width 72mm; Height 27mm
Subject and Association KeywordsSocial life and customs
Named CollectionThe James Logie Memorial Collection, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Copyright LicenceAll rights reserved