The control of fire was one of the first important steps to all that is wonderful and horrible in humankind’s evolution. The use of lamps of some sort goes back perhaps as far as 40,000 years, with some archaeologists believing that the first lamps using animal fats appeared as early as 70,000 years ago.



000 lampOriginal photo of a Roman lamp taken in 2004.

000 Oil Lamp 2Original photo of the bottom of a Roman lamp taken in 2004.

A brief explanation about Roman lamps.


The Romans were the first civilization to mass produce pottery, including lamps. The Roman red or black Samian ware (Terra Sigilata) when decorated was produced in molds that could be used over and over again until they basically wore out. Lamps were also produced in molds. The pottery and lamp factories were proud of their work, and like commercial companies today they put their names or their logos on their products. Since often the location, the names and the years in which these factories were producing their wares are known to archaeologists, these objects, or even just the potsherds, are valuable tools for dating sites and layers. The lamp above has a stamp reading EVGARA, which was the name of the chief potter or pottery factory in which it was made. The face is a representation of a theater mask. The lamp dates to the second century A.D.

A short summary about lamps and lamp-making may found here:


© 2015 nightpoet all rights reserved

Categories: Archaeology, History, Perspective, Photography, Poetry | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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