Birch, Samuel   [Hrsg.]
Catalogue of the collection of Egyptian antiquities at Alnwick Castle — London, 1880

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26. LAMPS.

The lamps found in Egypt are all of the Greek and Roman period, chiefly of the
first century of our era, and continuing till the Christian and even Saracenic
periods. The form of the Egyptian lamp appears to have been that of a bowl
with long foot or stem. At the Greek period lamps were of terra cotta, circular
or shoe-shaped, with tall leaf-shaped handles, sometimes ornamented with mytho-
logical figures and inscriptions. Later, circular lamps came into use, with figures
in relief of different persons and animals, and the names of makers, in Greek or
Latin, stamped beneath, resembling similar lamps of the Roman period to which
they belong. There are also some shoe-shaped lamps, nearly of the same period.
These continued in use till the third century after Christ. On the introduction of
Christianity after that age shoe-shaped lamps, ornamented on the upper surface
with crosses, monograms of Christ, palm-branches, and Greek inscriptions, parts of
creeds, and the names of priests and bishops appear. Still ruder lamps, with a
toad in salient relief, supposed according to some to symbolize the resurrection,
were in common use at a later period. Several lamps were made in Egypt, as
the colour of their clay is a red similar to that which is found to have been
used in the finer vases of the country. Others were probably imported; but
there is every reason to believe, from the Greek A found on the bottom of many
lamps, that there was an extensive manufactory of lamps at Alexandria.

2006. Circular lamp, flat, with one handle and a circular hole for pouring
in oil, and cylindrical nozzle. It is of the kind of ware called false Samian.
3^ in. long. Red terra cotta.

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