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Staetite hanging lamp

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Probably from Shetland

Postcard of Staetite hanging lamp.
© National Museums Scotland

Staetite hanging lamp

This steatite hanging lamp was probably found in Shetland, and was made of Shetland steatite. It was used to provide lighting in a home between 1200 and 1300.

The lamp, here pictured from above, has a shallow bowl to hold the oil on which a wick floated. The two holes are for chains, to allow the lamp to be hung.

Steatite was an ideal stone for making lamps. It was easy to carve, and did not crack with heat. Lamps such as these were used by the Norse community. They were exported to other Norse communities around Scotland, the Faroes and Iceland.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-033-337-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.BG 399
Date: Between 1200 and 1300
Material: Steatite; boat-shaped
What: Lamp, hanging
Where: Scotland, Shetland
Description: Steatite hanging lamp from Shetland
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