African Red Slip,

ca. 4th to 6th century AD                   


As the name implies, these lamps are indigenous to North Africa and decorated in a red slip.  Large-scale lamp manufacturing began here in the second century AD, encompassing a wide variety of shapes.  They have a distinct structure, combining a flat heavily decorated shoulder with a small and relatively shallow discus.  Their imagery is predominately neutral, though some lamps feature early Christian symbols such as the Chi-Rho, or Jewish symbols such as menorahs.  Grooves are frequently cut along the nozzle to channel runoff fuel back to the pour-holes; ARS lamps often have more than one pour-hole.  Stubby unpierced handles are fastened opposite the nozzle and are flush with the shoulder.  The majority of these lamps, representing some of the earliest examples of mould-made pottery in North Africa, were left unstamped and unsigned.

MMMN-LAMP-36.jpg (31814 bytes)

(H3.2-4) MMMN

L: 11.8cm  W: 7.0cm  H:2.9cm


5th to 6th century AD