Pottery from time of Jesus: Oil Lamp and a Cooking Pot
This set of a cooking pot and an oil lamp is dated to the first Century BC- first 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 within it the time of Jesus Christ and King Herod the great. Important historical events in the history of the Holy Land occurred during this period, such as the great revolt against the Romans and the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD.
The two vessels presented in this set are part of the everyday vessels of 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.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
(2 Corinthians 4:7)
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. Historical evidence for the use of this lamp can be seen in the form of the black mark left around the vessel nozzle, formed as a result of the fire that lit the wick about 2000 years ago.
The pottery cooking pot in this set is of the most common and typical type for the period of Jesus’ life, in the first century AD. This vessel is made by wheels, whose hallmarks are evident in the shape of the horizontal lines on the pottery. Like the oil lamp above, this vessel have also a Living evidence for its use in ancient time, by the appearing black burn marks left on the bottom of this vessel. It should be noted in this context the fact that despite the thickness of the thin clay of the vessel, it is not broken during the contact of the cooking fire with it.
This set of two pottery vessels typical of the first century AD, to the days when Jesus lived in Judea and Galilee, are an important testimony to the material culture of the Holy Land during this formative period. The fact that these vessels have left marks of fire as a result of their use strengthens their authenticity and makes a direct connection to the ancient people of Judah, who own these vessels, during the lifetime of Christ.