• latw-223-1
    Bronze lamp in form of lion. (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)

Bronze lamp in form of lion

Date
Fifth to seventh century, Late Roman
Museum
Manisa, Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, 4342
Inventory No.
4342
Sardis CATNUM
M67.004
Material
Bronze
Object Type
Metalwork, Lamp
Metalwork Type
Liturgical Object, Metal Vessel
Site
Sardis
Sector
BS
Trench
BS-E 5
Description
Lamp in the form of a lion, striding forward and holding a shell-shaped spout in his open mouth. A hole at the top of the mane, covered by a separately made hinged lid, allowed the lamp to be filled. A ring and loop just in front of the filling hole held a chain running back to the tail, which was used to suspend the lamp. A horizontal bar on the left side of the lion must be a means of attaching it to some kind of socket, on a lampstand or other fixture; the modeling on this side is sketchier than on the right, indicating that it was meant to be seen from the side. Patches on the sides mended flaws left when the lamp was cast. Length 0.164 m, height 0.083 m, width 0.04 m.
Comments
From the “Byzantine Shops,” shop E5, the same shop that held flask No. 221. The lion was the best known attribute of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia, and remained popular throughout Roman times (Hanfmann and Ramage 1978, 20-23; Ratté 1989, 379-81). Analysis of the metal revealed that it was made of brass, an alloy of copper and zinc.
Discussed
Greenewalt, “Introduction”; Byzantine Shops.
Bibliography
Hanfmann 1968, 17-18, fig. 19; Crawford 1974; Waldbaum 1983a, no. 618.
Author
NDC, MLR