The Age of Gallienus
Ancient Coin Collecting 101
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Ancient Coin Dates
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Ancient Coins & Modern Fakes
Ancient Oil Lamps
Ancient Wages and Prices
Ancient Weights and Scales
Anonymous Class A Folles
Armenian Numismatics Page
A Cabinet of Greek Coins
Caesarean and Actian Eras
Campgates of Constantine
A Case of Counterfeits
Byzantine Christian Themes
Coins of Pontius Pilate
Conditions of Manufacture
Corinth Coins and Cults
Countermarked in Late Antiquity
Denarii of Otho
Die Alignment 101
Dictionary of Roman Coins
Doug Smith's Ancient Coins
Edict on Prices
ERIC - Rarity Tables
The Evolving Ancient Coin Market
Facing Portrait of Augustus
Fel Temp Reparatio
Fertility Pregnancy and Childbirth
Friend or Foe
The Gallic Empire
Greek Coin Denominations
Greek Mythology Link
Greek Numismatic Dictionary
Hellenistic Names & their Meanings
Helvetica's ID Help Page
The Hexastyle Temple of Caligula
Identifying Ancient Metal Arrowheads
Illustrated Ancient Coin Glossary
Important Collection Auctions
Islamic Rulers and Dynasties
Julian II: The Beard and the Bull
People in the Bible Who Issued Coins
Imperial Mints of Philip the Arab
Later Roman Coinage
Library of Ancient Coinage
Life in Ancient Rome
List of Kings of Judea
Maps of the Ancient World
Museum Collections Available Online
The [Not] Cuirassed Elephant
Not in RIC
Numismatic Excellence Award
Pi-Style Athens Tetradrachms
Pricing and Grading Roman Coins
Reading Judean Coins
Representations of Alexander the Great
Roman Coin Attribution 101
Rome and China
Satyrs and Nymphs
The Sign that Changed the World
Silver Content of Parthian Drachms
Star of Bethlehem Coins
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum
Taras Drachms with Owl Left
The Temple Tax
The Temple Tax Hoard
Travels of Paul
Tribute Penny Debate Continued (2015)
Tribute Penny Debate Revisited (2006)
Uncleaned Ancient Coins 101
What I Like About Ancient Coins
Who was Trajan Decius
Reprinted by permission from "Artifacts of Ancient Civilizations" by Alex G. Malloy
Shop for Ancient Oil Lamps at Forum Ancient Coins
The earliest lamp other than a bowl with a wick is a saucer lamp. This lamp is a pinched rim bowl. It appeared with the introduction of wheel-made pottery. It had four pinched corners, used with four wick holes. The one-pinch corner lamp, or cocked-hat lamp, became the standard for about 2000 years.
The first Greek lamps were the cocked-hat type, made in Athens during the 7th century B.C. The transition to the bridged nozzle lamp occurred in Asia Minor. Athens then produced high-quality lamps from the 6th to the 4th century B.C. These new types were exported throughout the Mediterranean. They were wheel made, with a closed in shoulder and a distinct nozzle. They were glazed with the fine black glaze used in Athens. These lamps were used down to the 3rd century B.C. All areas of the Greek world eventually copied these for local use. During the Hellenistic period, molded lamps were produced; these became the standard throughout the Roman period. The early molded lamps were simple, but by the 2nd century B.C., designs appeared on the shoulders.
The Roman lamp in the 1st century A.D. had reached a high state of quality. Lamps from workshops in Rome became very popular throughout the Empire. They were eventually copied in local workshops. They typically had a short, flat nozzle, and handles at the back. The early workshops all signed the lamps with stamped names or symbols at the base. Designed and ornamented shoulders were used in the Palestinian area, and the frog lamp from Roman Egypt became a standard type. This oval lamp originally had a frog relief image. The design changed later to palms incised at the shoulders. Various other designs were used.
The major use of the ancient lamp was illumination of domestic, commercial, and public buildings. At religious festivals and games, lamps were used on a large scale. Thousands of lamps were used during the secular games in 248 A.D. presented by Philip I. At Pompeii, around 500 lamps were used on a commercial street to light the shops. Lamps were used in large quantities 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. Only the most unusual and desirable lamps are over $300. An attractive historical collection can be acquired for a reasonable amount of money.
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Forum's Catalog of Lamps for Sale - https://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=1605&pos=0#Types%20and%20Materials
Lamp Discussion Forum - https://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?board=46.0
Adler Collection - http://www.steve-adler.com/OilLampsMain.htm
The Foundation for Archaeological Research of the Land of Israel (FARLI), Ancient Pottery Database - http://apd.farli.org/home
RomQ Collection - http://www.romulus2.com/lamps/index.shtml
Petrie, W. Gerar. British school of archaeology in Egypt. (Vienna, 1928).