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  • Object type

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  • Description

    Egyptian ceramic lamp of 'Neo-Hellenistic type'. Pressed into a plaster mould. Top decoration included palm-leaves, the rear legs of an animal. The nozzle-top is decorated with chevrons flanked by grooves. The end of the nozzle is defined by grooves on the top and bottom. The small raised base has an 'I' impressed into it. Dark orange-brown Nile silt with common fine mica and white inclusions.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 3rdC-4thC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 7.6 centimetres
    • Width: 6.2 centimetres
    • Height: 3.8 millimetres
    • Diameter: 0.6 centimetres (filling hole)
    • Diameter: 0.6 centimetres (nozzle)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        maker's mark
      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Transliteration

      • Inscription Comment

  • Curator's comments

    Part of 3rd to 4th century AD Egyptian ‘Neo-Hellenistic lamp’ group with moulded and incised palm decoration (Bailey 1988, 257, Q2119). Early 3rd century AD parallel from Myos Hormos (Whitcomb & Johnson 1979, pl.35f), 3rd to 4th century AD parallels from Bubastis (Hilton Price 1897, 419, 3468), Alexandria (Cahn-Klaiber 1977, 124), Karanis (Shier 1978, 79) and Antinoe (Kueny & Yoyotte 1979, 167, 238). 2nd to early 4th century AD parallel from Tell Atrib (Młynarczyk 2012, type TA III.2). Fabric is similar to Nile Delta silts, such as that used at Naukratis in the figures workshop.

    Cahn-Klaiber, E.M. 1977. Die antiken Tonlampen der Archäologischen Instituts der Universität Tübingen. Tübingen.
    Hilton Price, F.G. 1897. A Catalogue of the Egyptian Antiquities. London.
    Kueny, G. & Yoyotte, J. 1979. Grenoble, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Collections Egyptiennes. Paris.
    Młynarczyk, J. 2012. Tell Atrib 1985-1995. Vol. 3: Terracotta oil lamps. Varsovie : Éditions Neriton.
    Shier, L.A. 1978. ‘Terracotta Lamps from Karanis, Egypt’. Ann Arbor.
    Whitcomb, D.S. & Johnson, J.H. 1979. ‘Quseir al-Qadim 1978’. Cairo.


  • Bibliography

    • Villing et al 2013-2015 (Phase 3) bibliographic details
    • Lamp Q2119 bibliographic details
  • Condition


  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1884-1885 season.

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • 1886,0401.1356 (GR reg.no)


If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

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Object reference number: MCB3374

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