The lamp has been deliberately aged and has some earthy surface soil deposits. It embeds genuine relief and detail. This is a reproduction of the original relic in order to duplicate it for open and honest purposes. Such duplicates are made where the original is very rare and replacement is impossible. Reproductions of an ancient relic permit it to be displayed at more than one location or to be handled by the public.
Oil lamps were used by ancient people in a variety of ways, both indoors and outdoors. They served utilitarian, ritualistic, and symbolic purposes.
Business owners, such as innkeepers and barkeepers, used oil lamps to light their businesses as well as the streets nearby. Noblemen used lamps to light their paths when they or their guests were out after dark. Soldiers used them to light forts and military encampments. Fishermen are believed to have used lamps on their boats when going on nighttime fishing excursions, and when out to sea, galleys likely had oil lamps hanging at the stern to indicate their positions to one another.
In the entertainment sector, lamps were used to light venues for after-dark sporting events such as gladiator shows. They were also used for “special effects” at the theater to indicate when a scene was supposed to be set at night.
In religious contexts, oil lamps served the simple utilitarian function of lighting temples and shrines, and they served a number of ritualistic functions, as well. Many of the religious practices in ancient Rome involved some form of ritual sacrifice or offering. Because light was considered a blessing, oil lamps were frequently dedicated at temples and shrines as votive offerings. They were also a common component in burial practices, and lamps were often buried with the dead in order to light the way into the afterlife and beyond.
In some cases, oil lamps served as a status symbol. Wealthy families used and displayed lamps made of metal, a higher quality material, lamps with intricate or exotic imagery, and lamps with multiple nozzles which burned more fuel, making the lamp more costly.
Roman era oil lamps were made of a variety of materials including stone, clay, shell, glass, and metal. Clay lamps were manufactured using a number of methods. They could be hand-molded, wheel thrown, or impressed into a mold. Some show signs of being made using a combination of these methods. Clay lamps make up the majority of lamps found in the archaeological record.
Measurements: 7.1 x 10.6 x 5.5 cm with a weight of 94.33 gr