Antiquities > Oil Lamps

Decorated Late Samaritan Oil Lamp Fragment from Caesarea Maritima

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This fragment is from a Byzantine "Late Samaritan" lamp, northern/central Palestine, 6th-7th centuries AD. 

I think "circular ladder" will do fine as a description of the motif. I suspect most of the designs on these lamps were simply decorative rather than specifically symbolic. The damaged aperture at the end of the trenched nozzle was undoubtedly the wick-hole; these lamps did not include air vents.

Adler classifies this type as S6. The closest example in the RomQ selection would be BSP16. But it should be noted that those are general types and the individual lamps varied enormously.

As for cleaning it, I personally applaud your wisdom in avoiding the temptation and leaving the artefact alone. I'm not a great fan of cleaning unless absolutely necessary. I regard the deposits as part of the item's history.

Beachcombing around Caesarea Maritima must have been a thrilling experience!


Thank you once again, David.  I don't know how I missed the S.6 designation!  Being a kid at Caesarea was amazing.  No plywood forts for us, we had an actual Crusader fortress to play in.  Prior to 1978 there were no restrictions on picking up surface finds from the beach and it was common to see whole families out looking after wind storms.  Around 2008 a law was passed legitimizing the old collections with the aim of encouraging cataloguing and publication of these finds.  Having access to Forum Ancient Coins and all the experts here has been an incredible, really indispensable, help in accomplishing this task.

Best regards, Jimi


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