Herodian juglet used for refilling oil lamps
Herodian Period Oil Filler and Anointing Juglet
Date: 37 B.C. – 70 A.D.
Provenance: Central Judea
This small, clay juglet dates to the Herodian period, and was used to carry small amounts of oil, either for refilling oil lamps or for anointing. The style of this piece is known as unguentarium, and is also used in alabaster juglets and glass vessels from the first century. These small clay juglets were made in Jerusalem and its vicinity during the time of Jesus, making them a great example of daily life in first century Judea. When Jesus was anointed at Bethany (Matthew 26:6-13), a woman came and anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume from an alabaster juglet made in the same style as this piece. Additionally, this piece is demonstrated in the parable of the ten virgins (Matt. 25:1-13), where the five wise virgins bring extra oil. This is the vessel from Jesus’ time that was used to carry extra oil for such an occasion, making it a great illustration of life during the time of the Gospels.