Ceramic Moulds for Making Ancient Lamps

Keywords: mould, lamps, Olbia, technology, production


The author publishes clay moulds of ancient lamps and archetype for their production, which were found in Olbia during excavations of previous years. Findings are a rare type of production items for both the Northern Black Sea region and the ancient Mediterranean world as a whole.

The search for close analogies has been performed and the dating of the mentioned moulds has been defined more precisely. Lamps that could have been made using similar moulds have analogies not only among the cities of the Northern Black Sea region but also among other centers of the ancient world. Besides, in Roman times, such lighting devices started also to be made of metal, in particular, we know bronze replicas of the mentioned moulds, which make it possible to assume that the ceramic production items of these types were of fairly high popularity and inspired the craftsmen to produce their metal versions as well. The assumption about the local origin of these moulds and archetype is made. In addition, the question of the ancient clay lamps production technology with the help of such moulds is raised.

The author mentions the dynamics of the lamps production process from the pre-Roman times, until the fundamental change in the technology that took place in the 3rd century BC. The issue and some thoughts about the local Olbia craft production of the ancient-time lighting devices are presented after finding the moulds, and the complex of the stove from the ancient settlement on the island Berezan, where early ancient gray clay lamps were found. One of the moulds for making lamps was previously mistakenly published in the section of ancient terracottas, and after the search for analogies in the newest archaeological sources, the author has managed to specify this information.


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How to Cite
Sheiko, I. (2019). Ceramic Moulds for Making Ancient Lamps. EMINAK: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (1(25), 119-126. https://doi.org/10.33782/eminak2019.1(25).216