Early Greek Unadorned Oil Lamp

Early Greek Unadorned Oil Lamp

These oil lamps, posted after the North African “saucer type,” have all come from Greek areas and date to the 9th Century B.C. for the most primitive ones. Generally, the more adornments and features on the pottery the later the lamp.

This lamp has a protrusion on its side possibly for some kind of retention function wherever it was placed. Also, the discus drains into a small opening in the reservoir. Whether this small opening signifies portability is hard to determine. The legend at the exhibit offered no rationale for any of these features.

The exhibit boasted many lamps; it makes sense that so many intact lamps were found if one considers that each household probably had several oil lamps to illumine different areas. The light would not shine far from an oil-burning wick; therefore, the larger the dwelling the more lamps would be needed for lighting.

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