Date Made/Found: 80-400 AD
Material and Medium: Ceramic
Dimensions: Overall: 25.4 x 66.7mm (1 x 2 5/8in.)
Place Object Found:
Accession Number: J1929.164
Pottery lamps were common household items during the Roman period and are found all over the empire. They were used to burn oil to create light, usually plant oils such as olive oil that was abundant in the Mediterranean. Archaeologists find fewer lamps in northern provinces like Britain where oil was scarce and expensive.
Lamps could be decorated with almost any scene, from divinities to animals to abstract patterns. This lamp is decorated with the figure of a Roman gladiator who is wearing a helmet and holding a Sword in his right hand and a shield in his left.
This lamp was found near Walkley in the Rivelin Valley in Sheffield during building work on a private house. The surface was damaged by the workman who found it in scraping away the clay with a knife. The nozzle was also broken off and has been reconstructed.
Weston Park Museum