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The Development of Oil Lamps in the Ancient World

As far back in human history as the Iron Age, people in the Middle East have been lighting their nighttime world with the aid of oil lamps. From the most primitive saucer-and-wick to ornate metal and glass vessels decorated with precious stones, oil lamps came a long way before being replaced by our ubiquitous electric light. Even today, some traditional cultures still employ the oil lamp to light up their lives.

Dove CandleThough it may seem simple to us, the first great step forward in lamp design occurred with the addition of the "lip", a simple fold in the pot's edge that created a basic spout. This improved form (our Canaan Lamp) remained unchanged for centuries. It was so efficient that its only variation was the occasional use of four spouts when much more light was needed... and the owner could afford the luxury of burning four times the oil.

Advancement in pottery methods brought the addition of handles and spouts.
Originally such pottery existed unadorned (as in our Lamp and Jug set), but with time people began adding various decorations. Designs differ according to culture, but in the Holy Land geometric shapes, flora and fauna motifs were favorites, as was of course the "menorah" candlestick that recalled the Great Menorah of Jerusalem's Holy Temple in the very home of its owner.

Today, you can bless your home with the same timeless light that lit the Holy Land of millennia past. Our artesans carefully fashion every lamp by hand as an exact replica of those found by archaeologists in the Holy Land from the time of the Second Temple, when Jesus lived and preached. A perfectly inspiring Christian gift for your loved ones (or yourself!), they bring the same light that illuminated the world of Jesus directly into your life.


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