100ad Early Christian Clay Palm Oil Lamp Roman Judea Israel Phoenicia Palestine

100ad Early Christian Clay Palm Oil Lamp Roman Judea Israel Phoenicia Palestine

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100ad Early Christian Clay Palm Oil Lamp Roman Judea Israel Phoenicia Palestine:

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Genuine, Gorgeous, Intricately Patterned, Well Preserved Ancient Roman/Early Christian Holyland Terra Cotta Oil Lamp about 100 A.D.

CLASSIFICATION: Roman/Holyland Terra Cotta Oil Lamp with Stylized/Abstract Palm Frond Design and Handle.

ATTRIBUTION: Eastern Roman Empire (Palestine), 1st Century A.D.


Length: 96 millimeters (3 7/8 inches)

Width: 56 millimeters (2 1/4 inches)

Height: 31 millimeters (1 1/4 inches).

CONDITION: Excellent. Good integrity, no cracks, breaks, or repairs. Bottom side lightly pitted. Traces of carbon black (soot) around wick hole area.

DETAIL: This is a very nicely preserved terracotta oil lamp dated to the 1st century A.D. It's origin is the area referred to as "The Holy Land", during Roman occupation, the province of Palestine. The top surface of the oil lamp portrays a very ornate, stylized, almost “abstract” palm branch design around the perimeter, along an accent line around the fill hole, and a decorated handle. The design present on the top, as can be seen, is even after the passage of almost 2,000 years, still fairly sharp and relatively distinct. Though by no means rare, it is still somewhat the exception to find an oil lamp intact (not broken into pieces), and possessing such a nice design. Beneath a coating of light soil deposited to the vessel, it is a medium terra cotta red. The style is very characteristic of the lamps manufactured for domestic use in the Roman Province of Palestine. Oil was filled into the center hole, and a wick in the front hole. You can even see distinct traces of soot on this specimen around the wick hole, the residue of ancient lamp black carbon. The lamp is in very good condition, with no breakage or chips other than a a rather roughly textured (pitted) underside, the pitting caused by the corrosive, alkaline soil in which it was buried. However the integrity of the artifact remains unimpaired.

HISTORY: Pottery is amongst the most abundant artifacts unearthed during excavations of Roman sites. Abundant throughout the empire, specimens such as this were even routinely and systematically exported by the Romans. Manufactured throughout the empire, from Gaul to Italy, the product was widely distributed throughout the Mediterranean world and the Roman colonies from Britain to Asia Minor. Pitchers like this were utilitarian implements both for the kitchen and dining table. Most terra cotta pieces such as this were functional kitchen items, and tended to be rather plain. The most widely used pottery in the ancient world were oil lamps, bottles, unguentariums, pitchers, bowls and plates. Their basic shapes remained unchanged for over a thousand years. The bottles and pitchers were used to store wine, water, oil and other liquids.

HISTORY OF ROMAN JUDAEA: Following the exile of King Herod Archelaus in 6 A.D., Judaea was annexed to the Roman province of Syria. Between then and the outbreak of the first Judaean Revolt in 66 A.D., a series of fourteen Procurators (Governors) ruled over Judaea from the magnificent harbor city built by Herod I at Caesarea. The first of these governors imposed a census of Jews so as to levy heavy taxes. Many of the later Governors of Judaea were increasingly and especially cruel, including Pontius Pilate, Antonius Felix, Albinus, and the last (before the revolt), Gessius Florus. The final insult was when in 66 A.D., Gessius Florus demanded that Jerusalem's Temple pay him a large amount of money for his own personal use. In protest the Jews quit making daily sacrifices to the reigning Roman Emperor (Nero), and the insult amounted to a declaration of war.

Several different factions of Jews were able to band together long enough to rout the Roman garrisons stationed in and around Jerusalem. In response, the Romans massacred innocent Jews elsewhere throughout the Empire. In Ceasarea 20,000 Jews were put to death in the space of an hour. In Damascus, Syria, the Roman garrison there executed 10,000 Jews. Rome's 12th Legion was dispatched from Syria to put down the revolt, but the Jewish rebels were able to repel these troops. Roman Emperor Nero then dispatched his greatest general against the Jewish rebels, Vespasian, leader of Rome's armies to victories in Britain and Germany, and gave him command of some of Rome's most elite forces.

Vespasian first encircled the Jewish forces around Galilee, which fell within a few months. By the middle of 68 A.D., Vespasian's troops had crushed the revolt throughout all of Palestine, with the exception of Jerusalem and the zealot fortress of Massada. Vespasian was forced to return to Rome upon the death of Nero, and the resulting civil wars which rocked Italy. Vespasian was declared Emperor by his troops, as well as the troops in Alexandria and in the Danube region. Fighting his way into Rome, Vespasian vanquished the army of his rival Lucius Vitellius, and within a year he victoriously claimed his throne in Rome.

Upon his arrival in Rome, Vespasian dispatched his son in his stead to finish off the Jewish rebels. The city of Jerusalem was sacked and the Temple destroyed. An estimated 1,100,000 Jews died in the war, and the golden Menorah and the other holy implements of the temple were taken to Rome as booty and eventually lost to history. Some historians believe that the mountain fortress of Massada, near the Dead Sea, held off the Roman Legions for another three years. The era was of enormous consequence not only for those of the Jewish faith, but for all of Christianity, and the coinage leading up to the Revolt as well as the coinage struck by the rebels during the revolt are of tremendous significance.

ROMAN HISTORY: One of the greatest civilizations of recorded history was the ancient Roman Empire. In exchange for a very modest amount of contemporary currency, you can possess a small part of that great civilization in the form of a 2,000 year old piece of jewelry. The Roman civilization, in relative terms the greatest military power in the history of the world, was founded in the 8th century (B.C.) In the 4th Century (B.C.) the Romans were the dominant power on the Italian Peninsula, having defeated the Etruscans and Celts. In the 3rd Century (B.C.) the Romans conquered Sicily, and in the following century defeated Carthage, and controlled the Greece. Throughout the remainder of the 2nd Century (B.C.) the Roman Empire continued its gradual conquest of the Hellenistic (Greek Colonial) World by conquering Syria and Macedonia; and finally came to control Egypt in the 1st Century (B.C.)

The pinnacle of Roman power was achieved in the 1st Century (A.D.) as Rome conquered much of Britain and Western Europe. For a brief time, the era of “Pax Romana”, a time of peace and consolidation reigned. Civilian emperors were the rule, and the culture flourished with a great deal of liberty enjoyed by the average Roman Citizen. However within 200 years the Roman Empire was in a state of steady decay, attacked by Germans, Goths, and Persians. In the 4th Century (A.D.) the Roman Empire was split between East and West. The Great Emperor Constantine temporarily arrested the decay of the Empire, but within a hundred years after his death the Persians captured Mesopotamia, Vandals infiltrated Gaul and Spain, and the Goths even sacked Rome itself. Most historians date the end of the Western Roman Empire to 476 (A.D.) when Emperor Romulus Augustus was deposed. However the Eastern Roman Empire (The Byzantine Empire) survived until the fall of Constantinople in 1453 AD.

At its peak, the Roman Empire stretched from Britain in the West, throughout most of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, and into Asia Minor. Valuables such as coins and jewelry were commonly buried for safekeeping, and inevitably these ancient citizens would succumb to one of the many perils of the ancient world. Oftentimes the survivors of these individuals did not know where the valuables had been buried, and today, two thousands years later caches of coins and rings are still commonly uncovered throughout Europe and Asia Minor. Roman Soldiers oftentimes came to possess large quantities of “booty” from their plunderous conquests, and routinely buried their treasure for safekeeping before the went into battle. If they met their end in battle, most often the whereabouts of their treasure was likewise, unknown. Throughout history these treasures have been inadvertently discovered by farmers in their fields, uncovered by erosion, and the target of unsystematic searches by treasure seekers. With the introduction of metal detectors and other modern technologies to Eastern Europe in the past three or four decades, an amazing number of new finds are seeing the light of day 2,000 years or more after they were originally hidden by their past owners. And with the liberalization of post-Soviet Eastern Europe, new markets have opened eager to share in these treasures of the Roman Empire.

Due to its fragile nature this particular piece is shipped in an oversized box with lots of Styrofoam peanuts. Domestic shipping (insured first class mail) is included in the price shown. Domestic shipping also includes USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site). Canadian shipments are an extra $11.99 for Insured Air Mail; International shipments are an extra $19.99 for Air Mail (and generally are NOT tracked; trackable shipments are EXTRA). ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per item so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers.

We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. If you intend to pay via PayPal, please be aware that PayPal Protection Policies REQUIRE insured, trackable shipments, which is why we include insurance and a USPS Delivery Confirmation at no extra charge (international tracking is at additional cost). We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs).

Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world – but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology.

I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the “business” of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly – even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."

On May-11-13 at 02:19:42 PDT, seller added the following information:

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100ad Early Christian Clay Palm Oil Lamp Roman Judea Israel Phoenicia Palestine:

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