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Ovoid Beit-Shearim Oil lamp

SKU: M.648.
Period: Byzantine/Islamic Period.
Date: 6th – 7th Century AD.
Dimension: 9.6 cm
Condition: In very good condition and very rare.



Ancient ovoid Beit-Shearim Terracotta lamp, Trench on nozzle with a bird on the trench.
Two birds and three lilies on each shoulder, Two leaves flanking bottom of handle. Flower design on discus.
With pointed knob handle and ring base, In very good condition and very rare.

Date. Late sixth Century and the first half of the seventh century AD.

Y.Yadin in Qedem.8 (ancient lamps in the Schloessinger collection) wrote in Page 123:

These lamps recall the avoid lamps with impressed decorations from BETH SHEARIM.

On the other hand, their shape heralds the ovoid lamps with a conical knob handle or tongue handle of the Arab period.

The distinguishing characteristics of this lamp are the ovoid pointed body,
the small central filling-hole, and the low knob handle in the shape of a pyramid which is in fact a continuation of the ridge
surrounding the small round sunken discus.

The ridge extends to the wick-hole, tapering towards the end and forming a shallow channel. The high relief
decoration comprises floral, zoomorphic, and.

geometric motifs, which are again found on thee Arab lamps.
The base, either flat or a base-ring, follows the outline of the lamp.

I life dated these lamps to the late fourth century, but the later date, from the late sixth and first half of the seventh century A.D., suggested by F. Dayton and A. Kindler is now generally accepted.

These lamps have so far, been found only in the northern part of Israel and the Lebanon.

Like the preceding type, this lamp is also recorded from Cyprus, indicating the change which took place in lamp manufacture in the Late Byzantine period.

As was seen above, in the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods lamps from Israel were part of the general lamp development.

This was followed, apart from a small number of imports, by several centuries of an independent development.

Again the reverse situation ensued around the time of the end of the sixth, beginning of the seventh century A.D.

This is only too evident in the Arab period, when uniform lamp types occurred from Mesopotamia to Egypt.

Noam Adler “oil lamps of the holy land The Adler collection” wrote Page 146:

These lamps are similar to the Beit-Shearim lamps and later Islamic lamps. They have an ovoid pointed body, a trench on the nozzle and fully decorated shoulders.
The decorations comprise mainly geometric, zoomorphic and floral designs. The sunken discus is also decorated, usually with a flower.
This type is found only in the northern part of Palestine and southern Lebanon.

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Ovoid Beit-Shearim Oil lamp

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