Oil Lamp, Roman, erotic motif

Production date
1st Century CE
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Object detail

Round brown slipped oil lamp is whole and in good condition although the design is faded. Lamps used to light brothels commonly show erotic scenes of services offered. In this case a female figure is astride her partner. There are faint traces of a circle demarking the concave discus and the base of the lamp is etched with six concentric circles.
CH classification ARCHAEOLOGY Roman lamp
Production date
1st Century CE
H27mm x W81mm x D94mm
Media/Materials description
Pale unglazed terracotta.
History and use
The need to extend daylight hours has always been with us. Before the advent of electricity, allowing a space to be illuminated with the simple flick of a switch, light was achieved by the use of a candle or a lamp. Artificial lighting via candles and lamps was widespread through the ancient world. Lamps were utilised in private and public buildings, in temples and sanctuaries, in street lighting and in ceremonies.
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