This design features a fragment found during the 2015 season of the Stroyno Archaeological Project. This curious lamp found its way into the Bulgarian heartland all the way from late Roman Athens, where it was made around AD 325-350.
This type of lamp, called Broneer type XXVII, Group C (‘Ovule-and-Panel’), was said to represent “the perfection oflampmaking in Greece during Roman Imperial times” by Oscar Broneer.
Excavations in on the site of Stroyno-Yurta in Bulgaria have yielded more than 74 lamps, mostly late Roman wares of the 3rd and 4th centuries AD.
Roman lamps were a characteristic form of interior lighting that burned liquid fuel seeped through a wick to create a controlled flame. Relief decorations have made them appealing objects of minor art in modern collections, but lamps were far more than that. Made by a multitude of producers and brands, with a distribution network spanning three continents, their religious imagery used in worship and death, and as symbols of study and learning, Roman lamps are an effective tool that can be used to discover the ancient economy, culture, and craft organization of Roman provincial life.