Jesus time oil lamp and a bottle – The wise virgins parable
This oil lamp and bottle set is dated to the 1st Century BC- 1st Century AD. This period is known as the “Early Roman Period”, which began with the conquests of the Roman general Pompeius Magnus in 63 BC. This period, to which these vessels date, encompasses the time of Jesus Christ and King Herod the great. Important historical events occurred during this period in the history of the Holy Land. Events such as the Christ’s crucifixion, the great revolt against the Romans and the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD.
Clay lamp length: 3.5″
Oil filler height: 3.8″
The two vessels presented in this set are part of the everyday items used by Jews who lived in the Holy Land, especially in the Judea and Jerusalem area. They have distinct characteristics of the Jewish culture of the Second Temple period: The fact that the vessels were made of pottery without any decoration, indicates the Jewish faith that forbids the creation of figures. In this way, these vessels can be directly linked to the Jewish population of the late Second Temple period in the Holy Land.
At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.
The oil lamp in this set is made in a casting mold, and is as mentioned without decoration. In some of these lamps a ridge appears around the candle eye, as well as two minimalist points in the nozzle area. This lamp is sometimes referred to as the “Herodian Lamp”, although it continues to be used for many years after the death of this king (in 4 BC), throughout the first century AD. A special thing specific to this lamp, are the black burn marks in the candle nozzle, which were created as a result of its use about two thousand years ago.
The pottery bottle in this set is of the most common and typical type for the period of Jesus’ life, in the first century AD. Like the Lamp, it also lacks any decoration, but it’s simple and functional shape probably indicates its vital use, apparently to store a small amount of oil, which could have been filled with oil lamps like the one shown in this set.
This set of two pottery vessels are typical of the first century AD, to the days when Jesus lived in Judea and Galilee. They are an important testimony to the material culture of the Holy Land during this formative period.