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Ancient Oil Lamps
The major use of the ancient lamp was illumination of homes, shops and public buildings. At Pompeii, around 500 lamps were used on one commercial street to light the shops. At religious festivals and games, an enormous number of lamps might be used and large quantities of lamps were used as votive offerings to the gods in temples. Many lamps are found in tombs where they were intended to light the way of the departed. The ancient lamp is an highly collected artifact. All but the most desirable and very finest ancient lamps are priced under $400 and an attractive historical collection can be acquired for a reasonable amount of money.
|This type is identified by Adler as a Transjordan elongated lamp. Adler writes that this type is usually decorated with geometric designs and rarely with a cross on the nozzle. The type is found in the northern part of Transjordan, and in Israel, mainly in northern Israel and the Beit Shean area. They date to the fifth and sixth century but possibly also the beginning of the seventh century. At this time, Beit Shean, was primarily Christian, as attested to by the large number of churches including a rotunda church on top of the Tell. Evidence of Jewish habitation and a Samaritan synagogue indicate established minority communities. Click the photo on the right of the Roman ruins at Beit Shean, to learn more about the city.|