Monday, May 10, 2021

They excavated the other half of that lamp in ... Hungary?

WAIT, WHAT? Matching half of 2,000-year-old lamp found in Jerusalem said located in Budapest. Hungarian archeologist reaches out to Israelis to say he may have found a match for the rare face-shaped piece discovered on road used by Jewish pilgrims on way to 2nd Temple (Raoul Wootliff, Times of Israel).

This story just gets wilder. It looks as though this bronze lamp was made in two halves, each a complete lamp in itself and each representing half a face. When interlocked, they would constitute a double-wicked lamp bearing a whole grotesque face.

Best of all, one half was just excavated in Jerusalem this year. The other was excavated in Budapest in 2012. How is that for a lucky find?

It remains to be demonstrated conclusively that they are parts of the same lamp. But that is how it looks now.

HT reader Chedva Perr. The Jerusalem Post article by Rossella Tercatin includes a video of the lamp in Hungary: Does Hungary have the missing piece of 2,000-year-old luck lamp? Because of its unique shape – a half face with grotesque features, similar to a theater mask – the artifact was described by the archaeologists as very unique.

Background here and here. I wonder if the funny-face bronze lamp found at the Um el-Kanatir synagogue also came in two interlocking parts. Does anyone know anything more about it? I can find lots of photos of the synagogue, but none of the lamp.

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