Middle Eastern Pottery Collection

This collection of pottery is on permanent display in the James Library.  It consists of ten olive oil lamps from various time periods, two olive oil juglets and one zoomorphic ceramic vessel.

For thousands of years, small ceramic lamps were used to illuminate homes and temples.  Hundreds of these lamps have been excavated, most of which are no more than a simple saucer-like vessel.  Earlier lamps were wheel-thrown, while later lamps were formed from clay rolled into a sheet and pressed into a mold.  Wicks were generally made of flax or hemp and were draped over the edge of the lamp. Olive oil was the preferred  fuel, but other vegetable, nut and animal oils were also used.

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 Iron Age I Redware Olive Oil Lamp

Maccabean Redware Olive Oil Lamp

Hellenistic Blackware Oil Lamp

 Iron Age II Blackware Oil Juglet

Early-Middle Bronze Age Redware Lamp

Iron Age II Redware Oil Lamp

 Middle Bronze Age Redware Juglet

Middle Bronze Age Redware Oil Lamp

Roman-Talmudic Redware Lamp

 Byzantine Redware Olive Oil Lamp

Roman Herodian Redware Oil Lamp

Roman Herodian Redware Lamp

 Chalcolithic Zoomorphic Vessel