Stanislau Loffreda, Holy Land Pottery at the Time of Jesus, (Franciscan Press, 2001).

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Ancient Central America & Mexico(1318)

Joan Goodnick Westenholz, ed., Let There Be Light Oil-Lamps from the Holy Land, (Bible Lands Museum, 2004) .


Herodian lamps were made on a potters wheel, so with careful inspection one can usually see circular striations in the clay. The potter obliterated most of the striations when he rubbed the bottom and sides of the lamp to burnish it and close the pores. However, the potter could not burnish the interior of the lamp, so a spiral design can often be seen in the floor of the lamp as viewed through the filling hole. More minute circular striations can be found on the shoulders and on the rim and ledge around the filling hole of Herodian lamps. Nautical archaeologist Shelley Wachsmann found a Herodian oil lamp in association with the 1st century Sea of Galilee fishing boat that he excavated in 1986. Negev and Gibson remark, This find is important because it indicates that clay lamps were a part of working on the Sea of Galilee. It further suggests that fishermen had worked in the early morning and in the evenings when lighting would have been necessary. See Matthew 5:4-5 and John 21:3 for gospel accounts of night fishing.

Early Herodian Period; c. 37 B.C.-30 A.D.

4.8 x 3.62 x 1.5 inches (12.2 x 9.2 x 3.8 cms)

Export Approval from Israel Antiquities Authority.

Qedem 8 , Ancient Lamps in the Schloessinger Collection, (Jerusalem, 1978)

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AntiquesAll CategoriesAntiquitiesA Herodian Terracotta Oil Lamp

Unique Herodian Oil Lamp with two nozzles, wide filling hole, a spatulated nozzles and a flat bottom. Found in the Holy Land. In very good condition.

Stanislau Loffreda, Light and Life: Christian Oil Lamps of the Holy Land, (Franciscan Press, 2001).

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