Homepage Timeline Maps A-Z index Learning

Ihnasya: Roman lamps

A typology of lamps of Roman - Islamic Egypt, based on Petrie observations concerning the material found at Ihnasya. The datings are mainly based on Petrie's notes concerning the contexts of many lamps found in houses, which are roughly datable through coins. There are, though, some problems with the lamps published. Petrie stated himself (Petrie 1904: 4): 'The material consisted of the dated examples from houses, undated from the excavations, lamps found by the sebakh diggers and bought by our party, and lamps bought from dealers at Medinet el Fayum. I have not distinguished between these various groups, as it is clear that the great majority were made at some distance ...'.

(click on the images for a larger picture)


found in House F - Fourth century AD

Delta lamps

Early Roman Period

Head lamps

late Ptolemaic - Early Roman

Shouldered lamps: Round body lamps with knob at sides

Ptolemaic - Roman

Dolphin lamps: lamps with a thumb (handle at the side; originally they represented dolphins)

Ptolemaic - Roman Period

Neck lamps

mostly fourth century AD to Islamic Period

Groove lamps

fourth century AD to Islamic Period

Frog lamps: one of the most common lamp types

Ptolemaic - Roman Period

Corn lamps

Ptolemaic - Roman Period

Boss lamps

Early Roman Period

Petrie 1904


Copyright © 2003 University College London. All rights reserved.