Ceramic mould in two halves, both still retaining
the impression of the actual lamp which would
have been made in terra sigillata and possibly
manufactured in Northern Africa, where similar
examples have been unearthed.
This oil lamp would have lit homes during the
early flourishing of Christianity. The centre of the
lamp is decorated with the Labarum, an
overlapping X and P representing the Greek
initials of Jesus Christ. This is one of the earliest
symbols for Christ and is found in Catacombs,
early signet rings, and ordinary objects such as
Interestingly enough, the design impressed on
this very mould is very much alike the one
stamped on one of our terra sigillata lamp
(LO753), suggesting that they both could have
come from the same centre of manufacture in
Northern Africa and after many centuries of
separation, reunited for our marvel.
For a comparable example see:
D. Buckton, Byzantium, 1994: no.47, p.60.