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Could you give me some informations on this oil lamp. the dealer can say me it's come from north africa, found by an archeologist. I have no date, no local origin.

Thank you
and best regards


I have no doubt that your lamp is authentic. It is an example of the 'warzenlampe' variety (those with raised dots as principle decoration) of a local type derived from 'firmalampen', made in North Africa (Africa Proconsularis) during the 2nd century AD.

See Deneauve 1033 for a related example.

i said id be back with some references. iam sorry it took so long.
the book is in romanian and is called (eng trans) - "greek and roman lamps", by c. iconomu, published by the constanta museum in 1967.
he calls them type XXVIII - lamps with granular decoration on margins, and dates the examples found in the black sea area, through the information provided by archaeological context, from the early 5th to early 6th century AD. he also notes most of the examples found in this area are of north-african provenance.

Hi Seth,

Although the lamps shown in your reference may look vaguely similar to the lamp shown by the OP (Frederic), they are actually very different. The "pattern on the margins" (raised dot decoration) is merely a superficial similarity.

The three lamps indicated in your reference (Figs. 49, 50 and 159) are typical examples of lamps made in western Asia Minor (the Ephesus area) during the 5th to 6th centuries AD - the Byzantine period. They are very distinctive and immediately recognisable.

The lamp shown by the OP was, as I said, made in North Africa around the 2nd century AD - the Roman period and much earlier than those Asia Minor lamps despite the similar decoration.

(Examples of North African lamps are shown as Figs. 51, 52 and 161 in your reference but they are later types and of an entirely different style.)

By the way, I've been after a copy of Iconomu for some time. If you come across any please let me know.

hello david

well, iconomu dates the ones ive shown in the pics as being of north african provenance, 5th-6th century. i mean he could be wrong also, his work dates back from 1967.
iam on vacantion for the next 2-3weeks, but when i get back home, i got the book, i guess i could pdf it and email it to you. the problem is that its in romanian so you might find it difficult to read.
just leave me a pm and i shall send you a copy. ;)


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