Terracotta Oil Lamps from Qumran and Ein Feshkha (R. de Vaux’s Excavations, 1951-1958): Typology, Chronology and the Question of Manufacturing Centers

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Jolanta MylnarczykBy: Jolanta Mlynarczyk, University of Warsaw, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow

The aim of my research at the Albright was to study an assemblage of ca. 200 oil lamps discovered at Qumran by archaeologists from the Ecole Biblique at the settlement itself and in the caves (1951-1956) as well as at Ein Feshkha (1958). The importance of this cluster of sites for our understanding of the late Second Temple period is indisputable, yet in the past many lamps have not been properly described within their archaeological context. Hence, the first stage of my research was focused on completing a description of the lamps and extracting the relevant contextual information. The second stage involved working out the typology. Conceived as a part of the general typology of the Qumran ceramics, the lamp typology consists of two series, each one dependent on a different technique employed in lamp-making: wheel-throwing and moulding. In the former group, the types have been distinguished on the basis of shape; and in the latter, the criterion of shape is combined with that of decoration. (more…)

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1 Comments for : Terracotta Oil Lamps from Qumran and Ein Feshkha (R. de Vaux’s Excavations, 1951-1958): Typology, Chronology and the Question of Manufacturing Centers
  1. probably made for the observant Jewish population. The “Herodian” lamps plus other types represented at Qumran suggest that the Qumran society was conservative

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