Structure & Function


Oil lamps were used for lighting, funerary, and votive purposes. They were made from a variety of media such as gold, silver, bronze, and clay. Although lamp production and distribution was primarily local, they were exported throughout the Mediterranean. The vast majority of surviving examples were made of fired clay as gold and silver were expensive limited resources and the bulk of bronze lamps were likely melted down in late antiquity.

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Volute and High Imperial Lamps

Bardo Museum