An extremely rare and unusual Romano-Cypriot lantern, made of terracotta and with a side handle. The top is set with a decorative pattern of piercings to allow the escape of smoke. One side features a large, rectangular opening for the light source to be placed inside. The lamp stands on a flat base.
Date: Circa 4th Century AD Condition: Very fine condition, complete and intact.
Our first extant mention of lanterns comes from the written documents by Empedocles of Agrigentum, and by Theopompus, a poet from ancient Greece. There is also evidence of oil lamp use in other civilisations, such as Egypt and China. Made of terracotta and fuelled by olive oil, the ancient Roman lanterns provided artificial lighting for homes, funerals, and ceremonial purposes.
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