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The pottery oil lamp is perhaps the outstanding class of object from the material culture of the land of Israel from the Canaanite period up until the completion of the Talmud around 500 AD.

Pottery clay was easily available, and olive oil which fueled the lamp was one of the staples of the land. Every period and ethnic group produced lamps with quite different identifying features, whether shape, symbolism or inscriptions.

One lamp in particular dominated the period from ca. 50 BCE- 50 CE. It was the Herodian lamp.

This was the lamp current in Jerusalem in time of Jesus, in the late Second Temple period.

Description: Single wick hole and nozzle, round body lamp made on a potter’s wheel.

Top: Round body, raised rim around filling hole; sloping shoulders, spatulated nozzle.

Date Ca. 50 BCE-50 CE.

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