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Planned object

Title: De retour sur les lampes ”de Sagalassos” et d’autres lampes ´Egyptiennes sign´ees du II’e si`ecle Ap. J.-C.


Chrzanowski, Laurent

Date issued/created:


Resource type:



Archeologia T. 61 (2010)


Wydawnictwo IAE PAN

Place of publishing:



ill.; 31 cm

Type of object:



In 1990, Adam Łukaszewicz published a lamp of a rare type, discovered in Alexandria and bearing the incised word CAFAA/ACCIK/QN on its base. In 1996, in the addenda dedicated to the clay lamps in his fourth volume of the corpus of the British Museum, Donald Bailey unveiled an identical artefact. Working on the lamp collection of Jean-François and Malou Bouvier, the present author found five lamps of the same typology but bearing on their base the inscriptions CAFAAA/THNA, HPQ/ON, IAIOY, and FOPT/TYNIC. Hepublishes them here and comes back to Łukaszewicz 's interpretation of the possible signification of these signatures and the probable origin of the artefacts themselves. The first hypothesis is to confirm Bailey's opinion seeing these lamps as pure Egyptian products, from Alexandria or the Nile Delta area. The second, considering the variety of the inscriptions, is either to regard these inscriptions as potters' marks that indicate a name (Ermon, Gaius) or ethnicon (Sagalassian, Gortynian) of expatriate potters, or to see two distinct categoriesamong them: the first with a potter's name (Gaius) and the second, as Łukaszewicz proposed, with a reference to holy ceremonies of the expatriates of Greek cities (Sagalassos, Gortys) and to their shrine (Herôon). Furthermore, the author connects these five with seven other signed lamps of the same period (2nd cent. AD), all from Egypt, in order to underline the migration phenomenon of well-known foreign lamp-makers such as Phoetaspus, who opened workshops in Egypt and launched there special products, inspired by some characteristicsof the standard Roman lamps but with a new, own identity. Finally, a rare witness of an opposed phenomenon is discussed - a lamp attesting to the willingness of a local lamp maker from the Fayyum area to adopt standard Alexandrine, Greco-Roman iconography


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Bailey, D. M., 1996, Catalogue of the lamps in the British Museum. 4, Lamps of metal and stone, and lampstands, London, 132
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Shier, L. A., 1978, Terracotta lamps from Karanis, Egypt : excavations of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor, n. 300





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Resource Identifier:



IAiE PAN, call no. P III 24 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P III 29 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P III 30 ; click here to follow the link




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Copyright-protected material. Access only on terminals at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, may be used within the limits of statutory user freedoms.

Digitizing institution:

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Original in:

Library of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences



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