Byzantine Period Oil Lamps
From the Holy land
circa 100 B.C. – 400 A.D.
In the modern world there is not a great deal of difference between day and night; darkness is merely a temporary nuisance, easily vanquished by flipping a switch. In ancient times, however, darkness was not as easily overcome. Accordingly, the oil lamp was one of the most important household appliances in antiquity and was used during Roman times to light the houses of everyone from the poorest peasant to the wealthiest of its citizens. For over three millennia, it lit homes, temples, synagogues, and churches of the Holy Land.
Originally existing unadorned, but in time people began adding various decorations. Designs differed according to culture, but in the Holy Land geometric shapes, flora and fauna motifs were favorites.
These authentic terra cotta oil lamps are made of fairly course, porous clay that when fired assumes a color ranging from dull ochre to red and is usually left unglazed. They were found in what is now modern day Israeland are one of the most common artifacts found in unearthed and excavated ancient dwellings, temples and tombs. They were imported directly from Israel and are pictured as we received them, they are intact and have not been cleaned in any way.