Lamp Classifications

Where applicable, the classification of lamps in this collection is based on type designations that were developed by Siegfried Loeshcke, Oscar Broneer, and J.W. Hayes.

Pottery Lamps

Open Saucer and Pinched Nozzle Lamps

The earliest and most rudimentary clay lamp form in the MPM Mediterranean oil lamp collection is the round saucer. Saucer lamps initially were made by hand-molding but were later wheel-thrown. These lamps employed a free-floating wick until the Middle Bronze Age when saucer lamps with nozzles in the form of pinched or folded rims appeared in Egypt and the Syrio-Palestinian area. The pinched nozzle was a technological advancement that, by holding the wick in place, prevented the wick from sinking or burning up, and provided a means for focusing light. Lamps with folded rims are often referred to as “cocked-hat” lamps.

By the Late Bronze Age, the use of open-saucer lamps had spread to Greece and the surrounding areas including the Phoenician and Punic regions. During the Hellenistic Period (third to first centuries BC), Palestinian saucer lamps became more enclosed with the rims being folded to the point of overlapping. Such lamps are known as “Hasmonean” lamps, named after the dynasty that ruled Judea and the surrounding regions at that time. A large portion of the MPM oil lamp collection is made up of open saucer and pinched nozzle lamps.

 

N26086/25036
Open saucer lamp
1550-1400 BC, Late Bronze I, Tell Hadidi, Syria

N26003/25036
Wheel thrown open saucer lamp with pinched nozzle.
1550-1400 BC, Late Bronze I, Tell Hadidi, Syria

E28285/6731
Molded saucer lamp with pinched nozzle.
Possibly Early or Republican Roman

N16114/21500
Saucer lamp with pinched nozzle.
3000-1200 BC, Malta

N16080/21500
Double pinched nozzle saucer lamp.
Malta

N16097/21500
Double pinched nozzle saucer lamp.
Malta

N16099/21500
Double pinched nozzle saucer lamp.
Malta

N16102/21500
Double pinched nozzle wheel-thrown saucer lamp.
7th – 4th century BC, Malta

N16103/21500
Double pinched nozzle saucer lamp.
12th - 8th century BC, Phoenician Period, Malta

N16104/21500
Double pinched nozzle saucer lamp.
Malta

N16106/21500
Double pinched nozzle saucer lamp.
Malta

N16107/21500
Double pinched nozzle saucer lamp.
Malta

N16116/21500
Double pinched nozzle saucer lamp.
Malta

N16125/21501
Double pinched nozzle saucer lamp.
Malta

N16145/21501
Double pinched nozzle saucer lamp.
Malta

N16146/21501
Double pinched nozzle saucer lamp.
Malta

N16147/21501
Double pinched nozzle saucer lamp.
Malta

N16148/21501
Double pinched nozzle saucer lamp.
Malta

N16149/21501
Double pinched nozzle saucer lamp.
Malta

N16150/21501
Double pinched nozzle saucer lamp.
Malta

N16151/21501
Red buff ware saucer lamp with pinched nozzles.

N16153/21501
Double pinched nozzle saucer lamp.
Malta

N16154/21501
Double pinched nozzle saucer lamp.
Malta

N16156/21501
Double pinched nozzle saucer lamp.
Malta

N14182/20419
“Cocked-hat” saucer lamp.
14th century BC, Canaanite Period, Hazor, Upper Galilee

N18515/22446
“Cocked-hat” saucer lamp.
1200-930 BC, Samarian Period, Palestine

N19180/22622
“Cocked hat” saucer lamp.
Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age, Palestine

N14728/20687
“Hasmonean” lamp.
Hellenistic Period

Greek and Mold-Made Hellenistic Lamps

Padlock lamps emerged in Greece around the seventh century BC and are named as such because of their resemblance to a padlock. They are characterized by a shallow, open body, a longer nozzle, and a horizontal handle which, coupled with their rounded bodies, gives them the appearance of a padlock. Padlock lamps were wheel-thrown, and later examples of this lamp type were made with clay slips to prevent oil seepage.

A58656/28902
Padlock lamp with glossy black slip.
6th – 5th century BC, Broneer IV, Greece

N14643/20651
Padlock lamp with black slip.
6th – 5th century BC, Broneer IV, Greece

UnknownII/NA
Padlock lamp with glossy black slip.
6th – 5th century BC, Broneer IV, Greece

N12872/19173
Attic padlock lamp with three nozzles and black, high-gloss slip.
6th – 5th century BC, Broneer IV, Greece

N12886a/19172
Wheel thrown lamp with open body.
6th century BC, Broneer I, Roman

 

As the name implies, Hellenistic lamps were produced during the Hellenistic Period between the third and first centuries BC. These mold-made lamps were produced primarily in Asia Minor and Egypt. A typical Hellenistic lamp had a round, enclosed body and an elongated nozzle. While they did not usually have a handle, Hellenistic lamps often had a “side lug,” a protrusion on the side of the lamp that was used to hang the lamp when it was not in use. Later, side lugs became more decorative than functional. MPM has one example of this lamp type.

 

A15851/5253
Molded Hellenistic lamp.
150-125 BC, Broneer XIX, Early Roman

 

Early and Republic Roman Lamps

By the first century BC, Early Roman lamp makers were producing mold-made lamps with features similar to those of Hellenistic Egypt and Asia Minor. The Early Roman lamps had the same round, enclosed body and side lug as Hellenistic lamps, but with the addition of a handle. They also typically had a clay slip.

A12384a/213
Red slipped Roman lamp with Hellenistic features and concave discus.
1st century BC, Early Roman

N16152/21501
Roman lamp with Hellenistic features and side lug.
1st century BC, Broneer XVIII, Malta

Another style of Roman lamp produced in the first century BC has been attributed to Malta, an island off the coast of Italy. Maltese lamps were wheel-thrown and are distinguished by a sunken discus with multiple air holes and a pointed nozzle.

N16091/21500
Maltese/Punic lamp.
Malta

N16115/21500
Maltese/Punic lamp.
Malta

N16139/21501
Maltese/Punic lamp.
Malta

N16144/21500
Maltese/Punic lamp.
Malta

N16157/21501
Maltese lamp.
Malta

 

Imperial Roman Lamps

During the Imperial Period, lamp makers throughout the Roman Empire were producing several different styles of lamps. One such style was the Birds’ Heads lamp. This lamp style had an enclosed body and a vertical handle. It gets its name from the two birds’ heads that appear as a decorative element between the nozzle and the discus of the lamp, although this area was sometimes decorated with schematic lines, instead, sometimes called a “candle-stick” motif. Birds’ Heads lamps were popular from 100 BC to AD 100.

A31784/213
Birds’ Heads lamp with fragmented body and pierced handle.
Imperial Roman

A38137/10311
Birds’ Heads lamp with Chi-Rho motif.
Imperial Roman

N3049/NA
Birds’ Heads lamp with “candle-stick” motif.
Imperial Roman

 

A lamp style known as Howland 50c was common in the Eastern Mediterranean from 50 BC to AD 50. Howland 50c lamps were similar to Hellenistic lamps, with round enclosed bodies and elongated nozzles, plus the addition of a handle.

N25965/25036
Roman Levantine Howland 50c lamp.
1st – 3rd century BC, Tell Hadidi, Syria

N25975/25036
Roman Howland 50c lamp.
1st – 3rd century BC, Tell Hadidi, Syria

N28425/25036
Roman Howland 50c lamp.
1st – 3rd century BC, Tell Hadidi, Syria

N28451/25036
Roman Howland 50c lamp handle/body fragment.
1st – 3rd century BC, Tell Hadidi, Syria

N28459/25036
Roman Howland 50c lamp.
1st – 3rd century BC, Tell Hadidi, Syria

 

One of the most prolific lamp styles of Imperial Rome was the Factory lamp which originated in Northern Italy near the end of the first century AD. Factory lamps were mold-made and uniform in shape with a sunken discus surrounded by a rim and a channel between the nozzle and the body. Some had handles, though most did not. They were produced on a massive scale and exported all over the Roman Empire, thus earning the designation of Factory lamp.

A12386/213
Roman Factory lamp.
Broneer XXVI/Loeschke IX and X, Imperial Roman

A12389/213
Roman Factory lamp with ring handle and theater mask motif.
Broneer XXVI/Loeschke IX and X, Imperial Roman

A15146/4004
Roman Factory lamp nozzle/body fragment.
Broneer XXVI/Loeschke IX and X, Imperial Roman

A53909/19612
Reproduction of a Roman Factory lamp.
Broneer XXVI/Loeschke IX and X, Imperial Roman

N3027/NA
Roman Factory lamp with burn residue.
Broneer XXVI/Loeschke IX and X, Imperial Roman

N3048/NA
Roman Factory lamp with ring pierced handle.
Broneer XXVI/Loeschke IX and X, Imperial Roman

N3050/NA
Roman Factory lamp miniature with vertical handle.
Broneer XXVI/Loeschke IX and X, Imperial Roman

 

Another type of mold-made lamp that was mass produced in the Imperial Period was the Discus lamp. Like Factory lamps, Discus lamps emerged in Italy around the end of the first century BC. The most distinctive features of a discus lamp are its large, concave discus and its voluted nozzle. These lamps appear both decorated and undecorated. Decorative content includes a wide range of topics, from geometric motifs to mythical scenes. The prevalence of this lamp type is evident by the number of examples found in MPM’s collection.

A12381/213
Plain discus lamp with voluted spatulate nozzle.
Broneer XXII/Loeschke I, Imperial Roman

A12383/213
Plain discus lamp miniature.
Broneer XXV/Loeschke VIII, Imperial Roman

A32847/9154
Plain discus lamp with red slip and radial motif.
Broneer XXV/Loeschke VIII, Imperial Roman

N18520/22446
Plain discus lamp with sharply voluted nozzle.
Broneer XXIII/Loeschke IV, Imperial Roman

N27951/25036
Plain discus lamp with slightly voluted nozzle.
1st – 3rd century AD, Broneer XXIII/Loeschke IV, Tell Hadidi, Syria

N3054/NA
Plain discus lamp with semi-voluted nozzle and floral motifs.
Broneer XXIII/Loeschke IV, Imperial Roman

N3058/NA
Plain discus lamp with circular geometric motifs.
Imperial Roman

UnknownI/NA
Possible reproduction of a plain discus lamp with round nozzle.
Broneer XXV/Loeschke VIII, Imperial Roman

UnknownIII /NA
Plain discus lamp with broken handle and semicircular body.
Broneer XXV/Loeschke VIII, Imperial Roman

A15791/5253
Decorated discus lamp with broken nozzle and female motif.
Broneer XXII/Loeschke I, Imperial Roman

A48936/15556
Decorated discus lamp with floral motif.
Broneer XXVIII, Imperial Roman

A53910/19612
Possible reproduction of a decorated discus lamp with voluted nozzle and chalice motif.
Broneer XXII/Loeschke I, Imperial Roman

E45955/12900
Possible reproduction of a decorated discus lamp with motif of a woman on a mule.
Broneer XXIII/Loeschke IV, Imperial Roman

N3052/NA
Decorated discus lamp with red slip and human and floral motifs.
Broneer XXV/Loeschke VIII, Imperial Roman

N3056/NA
Decorated discus lamp with red slip, voluted nozzle, and gladiator motif.
Broneer XXII/Loeschke I, Imperial Roman

N3060/NA
Decorated discus lamp with broken nozzle and indiscernible motif.
Broneer XXII/Loeschke I, Imperial Roman

N12873/19173
Decorated discus lamp with broken nozzle, red slip, and floral motif.
Broneer XXII or XXIII, Imperial Roman

N12874/19173
Decorated discus lamp with red slip and motif of a cupid or Eros holding a lantern.
Broneer XXII/Loeschke I, Imperial Roman

N12875/19173
Decorated discus lamp with broken nozzle, ring handle, and muse motif.
Broneer XXII/Loeschke IV, Imperial Roman

N13534/19593

Decorated discus lamp with voluted nozzle and motif of man riding a horse.
Broneer XXII/Loeschke IV, Imperial Roman

N13535/19593
Decorated discus lamp with round nozzle and human motif.
Broneer XXVII, Imperial Roman

N13537/19593
Decorated discus lamp with round nozzle and outdoor scene motif.
Broneer XXVII, Imperial Roman

N16113/21500
Decorated discus lamp with ring handle and female motif.
Broneer XXVII, Imperial Roman

 

The MPM collection includes a number of non-type specific lamps and lamp fragments that can be attributed to the Roman Empire and date to the Imperial Period.

A12380/213
Unattributed mold-made Roman lamp with raised floral motif and pierced handle.
3rd – 4th centuries AD, Broneer XXIX, Imperial Roman

A15790/5253
Unattributed Roman lamp with raised dot motif and vertical stump handle.
Broneer XXIX, Imperial Roman

A31747b/213
Unattributed Roman triangular lamp handle fragment with floral motif.
Possibly 100 BC – AD 100, Broneer XXI/Loeschke III, Imperial Roman

A48935/15556
Unattributed Roman lamp with raised dot motif and vertical stump handle.
Imperial Roman

E21337/4970
Unattributed Roman tri-nozzle lamp with ring handle and motifs of human face and grapes.
100 BC – AD 100, Broneer XXI/Loeschke III, Imperial Roman

N13536/19593
Unattributed Roman lamp with raised dot motif and ring handle.
Broneer XXIV, Imperial Roman

N18517/22446
Unattributed Roman lamp with semi-voluted nozzle and vertical handle.
Broneer XXVII, Imperial Roman

 

Egyptian and North African Lamps

Several styles of Imperial Roman Period lamps in the MPM collection have been attributed to Egypt and North Africa. Two of these lamps are examples of a style known as Plastic. They are not made of plastic, but instead get their name from their decoratively molded shapes. Plastic lamps were primarily produced between the first and third centuries AD and were typically molded into the shapes of heads, animals, and boats, much like the two examples in the MPM collection.

A15789/5253
Plastic lamp in the shape of a human head.
Imperial Roman, possibly Egypt

N18519/22446
Plastic mold-made lamp in the shape of a boat, possible an Egyptian boat.
Imperial Roman, possibly Egypt

Faience is the term used for glazed earthenware that was common throughout the Mediterranean and especially Ancient Egypt. It was usually used for beads and jewelry as well as small pottery objects. The MPM collection contains a single example of a Faience Glazed style lamp which, based on its decorative attributes, was produced during the Roman Imperial Period.

N14783/20760
Possible reproduction of a faience glazed mold-made lamp.
Broneer XXI, Imperial Roman, possibly Egypt

Egyptian Frog lamps originated in Egypt during the third and fourth centuries AD. They get their name from the frog decoration that often appears in relief on the upper portion of the lamp.

A32115/8741
Roman-Egyptian Frog lamp with raised globule decoration and wrapped in string.
Imperial Roman, Egypt

E45346/12647
Roman-Egyptian Frog lamp.
Imperial Roman, Egypt

E48386/14203
Roman-Egyptian Frog lamp with palm motif.
Imperial Roman, Egypt

 

In the fourth or fifth century AD factories in Northern Africa, specifically the Carthage region, began to produce molded lamps that were stylized by a red slip and thus called North African Red-Slip lamps. They had large, closed bodies, elongated nozzles, and solid vertical handles. The large discus area of these lamps allowed for a multitude of decorative motifs.

A15145/4004
North African Red-slip lamp with Biblical scene.
Late Roman, Hayes II, North Africa

A43506/12010
North African Red-slip lamp with broken nozzle and geometric patterning.
Late Roman, North Africa

A48090/14203
North African Red-slip lamp with pierced handle and biblical scene.
Late Roman, Hayes II, North Africa

E54267/16010
North African Red-slip lamp with floral pattern.
Late Roman, Hayes I, North Africa

N13538/19593
North African Red-slip lamp with semi-voluted nozzle and geometric patterning.
Late Roman, Hayes II, North Africa

N13539/19593
North African Red-slip lamp with herring bone pattern and woman motif.
Late Roman, Hayes I, North Africa

N16112/21500
North African Red-slip lamp with a broken nozzle, square discus and geometric patterning.
Late Roman, Hayes I or II, North Africa

 

The MPM oil lamp collection contains one additional North African lamp that does not fit into any of the previous categories. The presence of a cross on the channel of the lamp suggests that it was produced during the Byzantine Period.

Syrian, Palestinian, and Arabic Lamps

Near the end of the Roman Period, a new style of mold-made lamps came into production in and around Samaria. These Samaritan lamps had vertical handles and, instead of a discus, a pronounced shoulder with decorative motifs. They have been further subdivided into Early Period (second to fifth centuries AD) and Late Period (sixth to seventh centuries AD) types. Early Samaritan lamps were characterized by a small, round body and short, wide nozzle which was concave and often decorated with a ladder motif. The shoulder decorations varied widely, from religious motifs to representations of everyday items. Late Samaritan lamps were teardrop shaped with larger fill holes and geometric or plant designs on the shoulder. They also lacked a nozzle termination. Both types are represented in the MPM collection.

A15855/5253
Early Samaritan lamp with concave nozzle and ladder design.
2nd – 5th centuries AD, Late Roman/Early Islamic, Samaria

A15856/5253
Early Samaritan lamp with slight ladder design on nozzle.
2nd – 5th centuries AD, Late Roman/Early Islamic, Samaria

N18525/22446
Early Samaritan lamp with broken vertical handle.
2nd – 5th centuries AD, Late Roman/Early Islamic, Samaria

N18523/22446
Late Samaritan lamp with geometric patterning.
6th – 7th centuries AD, Late Roman/Early Islamic, Samaria

N18524/22446
Late Samaritan lamp with vertical handle and geometric patterning.
6th – 7th centuries AD, Late Roman/Early Islamic, Samaria

 

Beit Natif is a site located in southern Judea where a workshop dating to the fourth and fifth centuries AD has been excavated. The lamps found at the site were mold-made and similar in design to Samaritan lamps in that they had a round body, concave nozzle, large fill hole, and decorated shoulder, generally with geometric or floral motifs. In some cases, Beit Natif lamps were produced with a red slip. MPM has three examples of the Beit Natif lamp style.

A15852/5253
Beit Natif  lamp with concave nozzle and indiscernible motifs.
4th  – 5th centuries AD, Late Roman/Early Islamic, Biet Natif, Judea

A15853/5253
Beit Natif  lamp with concave nozzle and heart motifs.
4th  – 5th centuries AD, Late Roman/Early Islamic, Biet Natif, Judea

A15854/5253
Beit Natif  lamp with concave nozzle and floral motifs.
4th  – 5th centuries AD, Late Roman/Early Islamic, Biet Natif, Judea

 

Nabatean lamps were produced during the first and second centuries AD in and around Jordan. They were mold-made and had thick sides and a short, voluted nozzle. There are several different types of Nabatean lamps; however, only one of those types is represented in the MPM collection.

N32818/26996
Nabatean  lamp with concave nozzle and floral motifs.
4th  – 5th centuries AD, Late Roman, Broneer XVIII, Petra, Jordan

The appearance of Herodian lamps coincided with the reign of “Herod the Great,” thus earning their name. These wheel-thrown lamps had a round body and a large fill hole. The nozzle had a spatulate, or splayed shape with concave sides and was made separately before being attached to the body. The seam where the nozzle met the body was then smoothed with a knife. Herodian lamps were most commonly used in Judea between 25 BC and AD 150.

A12385/213
Herodian lamp variant with dark slip and loop handle.
25 BC – AD 150, Late Roman/Early Islamic

A15850/5253
Herodian lamp with flared nozzle.
25 BC – AD 150, Late Roman/Early Islamic

N18518/22446
Herodian lamp with flared nozzle.
25 BC – AD 150, Late Roman/Early Islamic

 

Not all of MPM’s oil lamps from the Levant fit into a specific category. There are eleven such lamps in the MPM collection. These lamps all have attributes that are indicative of their Levantine origin.

A58655/28902
Unattributed Levantine lamp with floral patterning and triangular handle.
3rd – 4th centuries AD, Roman, Judea

N3057/NA
Unattributed Levantine lamp with vertical stump handle and possible floral motif.
Imperial Roman, Levant

N3059/NA
Unattributed Levantine lamp with vertical stump handle and radial patterning.
Roman, Levant

N11554/32365
Unattributed Levantine lamp with vertical stump handle and indiscernible motif.
Roman, Levant

N12886c/19172
Unattributed Levantine lamp handle fragment.
Roman, Broneer I, Levant

N16110/21500
Unattributed Levantine lamp with broken handle.
Roman, Levant

N18521/22446
Unattributed Levantine lamp with horizontal handle and geometric patterning.
Early Islamic, Levant

N19004/22613
Unattributed Levantine lamp with scrolling lines, raised dots, and stellar motifs.
3rd – 4th centuries AD, Roman, Levant

N25768/25036
Unattributed Levantine lamp with broken voluted nozzle, vertical stump handle, and floral patterning.
1st – 3rd centuries AD, Tell Hadidi, Syria

N25974/25036
Unattributed Levantine lamp with pointed nozzle, vertical stump handle, and radial patterning.
Umayyad Period, Tell Hadidi, Syria

N33029/27091
Unattributed Levantine lamp with broken handle and garland motif.
Late Byzantine/Early Islamic, Levant

 

Byzantine Lamps

Byzantine Slipper lamps became popular in the Judean and Samaritan regions during the fourth and fifth centuries AD, near the end of the Roman Empire. Their name comes from their shape which resembles a slipper or teardrop. They were mold-made, lacked handles, and usually had a large fill hole surrounded by one or two ridges. The most common decorative motifs found on Slipper lamps are crosses, palm branches, candlesticks, and radial patterns. The three slipper lamps in MPM’s oil lamp collection are excellent examples of this lamp type.

N14730/20687
Levantine Slipper lamp with radial patterning and cross motif on nozzle.
Roman Byzantine

N14731/20687
Levantine Slipper lamp with “candlestick” motif on nozzle.
Roman Byzantine

N18522/22446
Levantine Slipper lamp decorated with “candlestick” motif, raised dots, and spoked wheels.
Roman Byzantine

 

Although most lamps of the late Roman and Byzantine Periods were mold-made, some were wheel-thrown. There were two variations of Byzantine wheel-thrown lamps, only one of which is present in the MPM collection. This variation had a ridged, cone-shaped body that tapered upwards. The other variation had a smooth bulbous body and a flared rim. Both varieties had a looped handle and projecting nozzle. Byzantine wheel-thrown lamps have been attributed to the Samaritan region and date to the third and fourth centuries AD.

N18516/22446
Byzantine Wheel-made lamp decorated with missing handle and broken body.
Roman Byzantine

Unattributed Lamps

There are five unusual Roman clay lamp in the MPM collection that cannot be attribute to a particular type.

A34693/9677
Unattributed Roman mold-made lamp with tapered nozzle and loop handle.
Roman

A54047/19887
Unattributed Roman wheel-thrown lamp with long protruding nozzle and large loop handle.
Roman

N3051/NA
Unattributed Roman lamp with large loop handle.Roman

N12882/19173
Unattributed Roman wheel-thrown lamp with loop handle.
Possibly Early Roman

N19819/22787
Unattributed Roman censer reworked into a lamp with hand shape decorating underside.
Roman

Metal Lamps

Unlike clay lamps, metal lamps produced in the ancient Mediterranean have not been divided into types. They were popular during the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Periods and are generally divided into these categories. The decorative elements of metal lamps vary greatly, especially in their lids, handles, and discus areas.

A31069
Reproduction of a double nozzle hanging metal lamp with large Chi Rho attached to a goat’s head.
Imperial Roman

A32924/9201
Possible reproduction of a metal lamp with broken handle and goat’s head.
Imperial Roman

E11895/3474
Hanging metal lamp with horse’s head handle and bird shaped lid.
Roman

N6456 c+d/6116
1 of 3 reproductions of a double nozzle hanging metal lamp with voluted nozzles and bird shaped lid.
Roman

H10014/20069
Reproduction of a bronze lamp with motif of two raised figures on discus and lion’s head handle.
Imperial Roman

N6456 e+f /6116
1 of 3 reproductions of a double nozzle hanging metal lamp with voluted nozzles and bird shaped lid.
Roman

 

N6456 g+h /6116
1 of 3 reproductions of a double nozzle hanging metal lamp with voluted nozzles and bird shaped lid.
Roman

 

N13948/20253
Reproduction of a Pompeian double nozzle metal lamp with griffin’s head handle.
Roman

 

N14784/20760
Double nozzle metal lamp with rectangular body and hinged lid.
Roman

 

N17781/22199
Bronze lamp with hinged lid and globular body.
Roman/Byzantine

 

UnknownIV/NA
Reproduction of a bronze lamp with crescent handle.
Imperial Roman

 

Stone Lamps

The use of stone lamps in the Mediterranean dates back as far as the Upper Paleolithic. While stone continued to be used, it became less popular with the advent of ceramic technology. The single example of a Mediterranean stone lamp in the MPM collection is believed to have had a different purpose before becoming a lamp. When objects broke they were often reworked into something new. In this case, the lamp was probably used as a censer to burn incense before it broke and was later transformed into a lamp.


N15494/21123
Soapstone censer reworked into a lamp with decorative lion carving.
Roman