Oil lamps were used throughout antiquity to produce light with an oil-based fuel source. The skills of the early inhabitants were used to craft the Holy Land’s oil lamps, which burned with the oil of the area’s abundant olive trees. The lamps’ symbols, designs, shape, and decorations all serve as indicators of the time and place of production, as well as of the culture and standard of living enjoyed by the lamps’ users. Oil lamps from the Holy Land differed in their decoration from the traditional motifs of other civilisations. Initially, designs took the form of stylised birds, grains, trees, plants, and flowers. Subsequently, the decoration became more geometric, being often linear with raised dots.
Holy Land Terracotta Oil Lamp
A terracotta oil lamp from the Holy Land. An object of beautiful simplicity, this lamp has a large filling hole on the discus and a wick hole on the short nozzle. It is decorated with geometric patterning and a stylised animal.
Condition: Fine and intact, with some signs of ageing on the surface.