Cyprus has a rich archaeological history as a connection point between the two sides of the Mediterranean world. In the Bridges Collection, we have objects that range in date from the Early Bronze Age (2400-2000 BCE) through the Byzantine Period (400-1453 CE).

Since we dont know the exact context that the artefacts in the Bridges Collection came from (for more on that click here), one of the most reliable ways to date artefacts is by comparing them with objects in other collections with secure dates.

The oil lamps in our collection are a great example of that, as their complexity, shape, and decoration tell us when they were likely made. The Hellenistic lamps were made on a wheel and then pinched into shape to create a spout. The Roman and Late Antique lamps are both mould-made. The Roman lamp is identifiable by its characteristic red slip.

Despite the changes in design over centuries of use, all of these lamps functioned in the same basic way to provide light. Check out this video from the Museum of the Unviersity of St Andrews lighting one our replica lamps!