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Byzantine Lamp with Cross

Standing Lamp with a Cross on a Pricket Stand, 5th century
Byzantine, possibly made in Syria
Copper alloy
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Fletcher Fund, 1961 (61.1142a, b)

Oil lamps were used in pagan temples and Christian churches as well as synagogues and mosques. My colleague Barbara Boehm, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, informs me that early Islamic sources indicate that the faithful who could not make a pilgrimage to pray in the Mosque of Jerusalem could send olive oil to illuminate its lamps instead. Learn more about oil lamps in religious contexts.

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