A very fine and beautifully moulded Roman bright red terracotta oil lamp featuring an intricately decorated discus and shoulder in low relief. The body of the lamp bears an elongated oval shape and circular discus surrounded by a low ridge that continues around a large nozzle hole to form a broad channel. At the top, a solid blade-shaped handle flattened on both sides is attached. A circular ridge on the base extends in a straight line to the handle. The slightly concave discus bears two small filling holes and beautiful decoration in low relief. The primary iconography is a two-handled jug or amphora from which spring stylized vines and buds, flanked by two birds shown in profile, likely belonging to the ‘overflowing vase” motif. The shoulder surrounding the discus bears an ornate pattern comprised of chevrons and beaded semi-circles that simultaneously recalls both floral and geometric motifs. This lamp is a fine example of the group of North African lamps produced in Terra Sigillata Africana (TSA), and was likely moulded in the Roman provinces of North Africa, present-day central Tunisia. It can be classified as type Atlante X, Hayes II A.
Date: Circa 4th – 6th Century AD.