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.