- Name of the item: Lamp, unknown author Heraclea Lyncestis
- Period/dating: 2nd – 4th century A.D.
- Material/technique: pottery
- Dimensions: 10 cm
Short story (description):
A lamp is a device that contains and burns fuel, usually oil, as a means of obtaining light. Although oil lamps have different shapes and sizes throughout history, the essential components are wick, fuel, fuel tank and air supply to maintain the flame. Some of the earliest lamp examples that date from the Upper Palaeolithic period were actually stones with hollows in which animal fats were burned as a light source. Shells were also used as lamps.
Pottery lamps appeared in the Bronze Age around the 16th century BC. and in some way, they are used until nowadays. Initially, they are in the shape of a bowl with a floating wick, and soon afterwards these bowls began to develop in a curved or overturned edge to an almost closed container which ends with a beak that serves to maintain the wick, thus controlling the flame and smoke. As evolved, clay lamps became more generous, especially in the ancient Greeks, whose lamps were exported throughout the Mediterranean from the 4th to 6th centuries BC, due to their high-quality craftsmanship.
The further closure of the body of the lamp by Roman craftsmen made it possible to decorate the disk even more. Between the first and second centuries AD, the Italian lamps became the dominant style in the Roman world.
Also, advances in metal processing technology, or metallurgy, allowed the development of metal lamps that were popular during the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine period.
The lamps were used by our ancestors both indoors and outdoors, and they had a utilitarian, ritual and symbolic purpose.