Herodian Oil Lamp – Pottery from the Time of Jesus


Second Temple period pottery – Jesus time oil lamp.


  • Pottery from the time of Jesus.
  • First century oil lamp type.
  • Wise Virgins Lamp parable.
  • Certificate of authenticity included.
  • Includes a nice presentation stand.



Herodian Oil Lamp – Jesus Time Pottery.

This oil lamp is dated to the first Century AD. It is called “Herodian”, even though it started to be in use at the end of King Herod’s lifetime (end of 1st Century BC). During the first century AD this oil lamp was one of the hallmarks of the material culture of the people of Judea under Roman rule. In fact, this lamp continued to be used even after the destruction of the Second Temple (70 AD), until the days of the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-136 AD).
During the first century AD, which is the period of Jesus’ life, the Holy Land was densely populated, its lands cultivated, and many of its inhabitants were affluent. Jerusalem was a city built in splendor after the days of King Herod, in which there were magnificent buildings. The small material finds unearthed within these houses were also characterized by their quality, richness and splendor. In light of this, the Herodian oil lamp stands out, as it is not decorated at all.

This lamp, different from the Roman lamps of the time made in a mold, were made in the local Eretz-Israel tradition using a potter’s wheel. The Herodian lamps were all made in the same technique: the lamp body was made on the pottery wheel, then the hand-made nozzle was attached to it. The place of connection and the sides of the nozzle were scrubbed with a knife, so these oil lamps are also called “scrubbed oil lamps”.
The clay oil lamp before us is a strong example of the clay vessels made by Jews at the end of the Second Temple period, in the time of Jesus before the destruction of the Second Temple. The fact that these oil lamps were made with care and delicacy without decoration indicates that these lamps were very common among the observant Jewish population in Judea during this period.