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Jim writes:

I purchased a multi-nozzle ring oil lamp. Few of these have been found by archaeologists, but Mordechai Aviam says he has seen a broken one from the Galilee (either Gamla or Yodefat, I don't remember which). Anyway, as I examine mine the Herodian nozzles do not seem crisp and I am beginning to think it might be a fake. Who can examine a picture and give me some input?  Thanks. 



From David L

While Ring lamps are known and have been found in the holy land  as well as other sites in the area this example appears to have several problems. First the proportions are awkward the ring appears to be to awkward and the nozzles not evenly placed. Second the workmanship is crude , genuine examples i am familiar with are finely modeled. I t is hard to tell from the picture but the nozzles do not appear to go all the way around as they should. The nozzles do not seem to be uniform in shape. Without seeing the actual lamp I can not say for sure as it might just be a fragment badly restored,  but I have grave doubts about its authenticity.



From David B

November '10

I wonder if this example is genuine.The surface looks rather different from the masses of fakes on offer on eBay especially.

  • 90mm long x 64mm high
  •  Water adsorbed rapidly from the surface but no musty smell  when wet.
  • Paint does not come off with acetone.


It's interesting to note that  after some discussion online about the "pointy nosed" version of the fake Indus zebu terracotta figurines suddenly they became very scarce on eBay and a the "flat nosed" version appeared in great numbers! I have yet to see one offered with a valid TL test.


A couple of interesting links:



Fron Rick

This found by a metal detectorist in Northern Ireland near a rath. Ancient or modern? And what is it?  22 mm across.



Alex asks if this is a genuine piece.

December 2010






On  the face of it, a Greco Roman bronze jug of the style of about  the 1st/2nd century BC.

What draws my eye immediately is the handle:  

  • It seems very plain for this type of jug.

  • also, it appears singularly unpatinated compared to the  jug itself.


Although difficult to determine  from only photos I'm a bit suspicious of the "patina". Are those brush marks?


  • Would be worth seeing if any colour comes off with rubbing with a piece of cotton  wool soaked in acetone.

  • And the areas on the surface of the back of the jug where it appears the overlying extension of the handle has both moved away from slightly and parts broken off.....

  • Is that consistent with metal which was protected from patination  or protected from a false  painted on patina ?? The edges look very sharp, as if the border of something painted.


Would be very interesting to see what others think.


More queries, real or fake?