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From Newstead, Roxburghshire

Postcard of Lamp.
© National Museums Scotland


This earthenware lamp was found at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. The bowl of the lamp was filled from the hole at the top with oil, and a wick was inserted through the nozzle. It was used sometime between 80 and 180 AD.

The top of the simple, undecorated lamp has a circular depression with defined lip, into which a roughly circular hole has been cut. A groove links the top hole and the nozzle.

The Romans used oil lamps, candles and lanterns to provide lighting inside. Most surviving oil lamps are pottery, some with decoration on top. They are not common finds in Britain; perhaps the cost of importing oil was too great.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-485-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FRA 1110
Date: 80 - 180 AD
Between 80 and 180 AD
Material: Earthenware
Who: Newstead Collection
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Melrose, Newstead
Description: Earthenware lamp from the Roman site at Newstead, 80 - 180 AD
  • Curle, J. A Roman frontier post and its people: the fort of Newstead. Glasgow: MacLehose, 1911, p 306, Pl. LXXIX, 8. 
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