Antiquities > Oil Lamps

Oil Lamp Fragment with Lion, Caesarea Maritima


Hi, all.  Here is an oil lamp fragment of a discus with a lion, perhaps attacking a bucranium or the head of some other creature.  The lion crouches on a thick, (indistinct in this photo) ground line.  The tail possibly wraps around the rear leg.  I found a photo of a lamp with a somewhat similar motif, catalogued as Bussière form D IX type, from Tunisia and dated to the 1st-2nd century CE.  Of course, the shape and form of this lamp may be totally unrelated to my fragment.  Any alternate ideas on dating and interpretation are welcome.  Thanks, V-drome

Decorated Oil Lamp Discus with Lion
Caesarea Maritima
1st-2nd Century CE
Fragment of an Early Roman oil lamp consisting
of the central part of a discus decorated with a lion
on a ground line?, crouching over object, perhaps
a bucranium?  The tail appears to be wrapped around
the rear leg.  Part of the filler hole is visible below. 
Fabric: Medium fine grained, light tan clay with traces
of reddish/brown slip.  Manufacture: Mould made.
Origin: N. Africa? or Asia minor?
Dimensions: 3.75 x 2.9 x 0.75cm.  Weight: 6.27gm.
Surface find Caesarea Maritima, 1977
(click for larger pics)

Jay GT4:
I'm really liking these fragments.

Robert L3:
Excellent addition to your lamp fragment subset.  +++

I'm not sure I can help you much with identifying the motif on your fragment. But I'll just note that while the fabric of your fragment suggests it *may* have been made in Italy or North Africa, the attribution of the complete lamp you are comparing it to is incorrect. That complete lamp was very clearly made in western Asia Minor, not "Tunisia", and the motif appears to be unrelated to that on your fragment.


Thank you Robert, Jay, and David.  The other lamp was found on a commercial site, and I mis-read the attribution when I looked up the reference they gave.  The correction is much appreciated!

Best regards, Jimi


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