Oil Lamps from the Catacombs of Canosa (Apulia, Fourth to Sixth Centuries AD): Technological Features and Typological Imitation

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Abstract

Fifty oil lamps from the catacombs of ‘Ponte della Lama’ (Canosa di Puglia, second to sixth centuries ad) were analysed to understand the correlations existing between types and fabrics and to determine their provenance. Petrographic and chemical analyses confirmed the archaeological hypothesis of local production of the oil lamps, using fluvial deposits. However, the three samples of oil lamps imitating the African ‘Atlante VIII’ are considered chemical outliers compared to the rest and are supposedly of foreign origin. The extensive and original repertory of lamp types characterizes Canusium as the production centre in the late Roman period.

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