III. Roman-Period Clay Lamps / Types from Eastern Provinces only / Augustan and Imperial Lamps

Jug lamp


Little is known about these curious lighting devices in the shape of a jug. Most of the few published ones come from Egypt, as is the case with cat. 510. The BM donor of lamp Q 532, excavated at Tell el-Fara’in (ancient Bouto), Egypt, specified that this type of lamp is “very common in and around Alexandria” (Bailey BM I, p. 250). Bailey wonders if these juglike vessels might not simply be fillers for pouring liquid, but adds that at least Q 530 has been used as a lamp, for there are burn marks around the spout. The substantial burn marks all around the wick-hole on cat. 510 confirm that such vessels could be used for lighting.

Banner image: Detail of cat. 510