Rome, Imperial Period, Judean, ca. 1st century CE. An elegant, seven-wick, red-slipped oil lamp - reminiscent of a seven-branched Hebrew menorah, a symbol of Judaism since ancient times - with a sunken discus decorated with impressed, petal-like motifs radiating from the central filler hole, an upraised pointed handle, and on the base, an impressed petaled flower mirroring the design around the filler hole and encircled by a raised border. A beautiful mould-made terracotta oil lamp - a wonderful source of light that offered an attractive alternative to candle light. Candles, being made of tallow or beeswax, were less expensive but did not last as long. Lamps with several nozzles, like this example, could hold multiple wicks (made from pieces of linen, flax, or papyrus) and thereby produce numerous flames of light. Size: 4.875" L x 4.75" W (12.4 cm x 12.1 cm)
Provenance: private Orange County, California, USA collection acquired before 2000; ex-Archaeological Center, Jaffa, Israel
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