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Bronze Lamps in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum

An illustrated catalogue

Sümer Atasoy. Photographs by Turhan Birgili
Publication Year:
143pp. Includes 205 illustrations, Catalogue and Concordances
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


The bronze lamps in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, consisting of a variety of material from the Ottoman Empire - Palestine, Syria, the Lebanon and Macedonia - were acquired through confiscation, purchase or in a few cases from excavations (Cos, Lindos, Sidon, Tel-Taannek and Thrace). The collection illustrates the range of bronze lamp production in the Eastern Mediterranean from the Archaic to the Late Roman world. The collection is particularly rich in lamps from the Early Christian period and alsoincludes polycandela for glass lamps. Although provenance is often lacking, the Istanbul lamps nevertheless offer a useful and interesting body of material for the student of lighting technology in the ancient world. Until the 1960s, from almost every corner of Turkey all kinds and types of object were being brought to the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. However, with the new regulations in force, the objects are now being collected in local museums and not much is received by the Istanbul ArchaeologicalMuseum. The present catalogue lists metal lamps, lampstands, polycandela, lanterns, suspension chains, and lamplids which have entered the museum's collection up to the end of 1998. Only a few examples of the collection are published.