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On display in the Exhibition(s)The Muslim West | Settlements and Domestic Life
Name of Object:
Mértola MuseumMuseum Inventory Number:
Mértola, Beja, Portugal
About Mértola Museum, Mértola.
Height 18.2 cm, width 16.2 cm, diameter (of base) 12.7 cmMaterial(s) / Technique(s):
Common ceramic made from fine reddish paste, modelled on a potter’s wheel and fired in an oxidising atmosphere.Date of Object:
Early hegira 7th century / Early AD 13th centuryPeriod / Dynasty
A spherical object with a distinctive slightly convex base, a handle at the top that is oval in cross-section, a semi-circular front opening and a conical vertical spike inside. It has a decoration of finger impressions, wavy incised lines and traces of white paint on a reddish background.
This unusual object was used as a lantern for lighting out of doors. Its closed form protected the flame from the wind and its large horizontal handle made it easy to carry. The object has been restored.
View Short DescriptionHow Object was obtained:
Found in the archaeological excavations carried out by the Campo Arqueológico de Mértola in the citadel of the Castle of Mértola.How date and origin were established:
It was dated to the Almohad period on the basis of stratigraphy, since it was found in the abandoned levels of one of the houses of the citadel vacated after the Christian conquest of Mértola in AH 635–6 / AD 1238.How provenance was established:
The technical and formal characteristics of this piece are typical of items produced in Mértola, although many similar items are to be found in the Valencia region (Spain).Selected bibliography:
Gómez Martínez, S., “Catálogo da Cerâmica”, in Museu de Mértola. Arte Islâmica, ed. S. Macias, Mértola, 2001, p.130.Citation of this web page:
Gómez Martínez, S., “Contenedores de Fuego en el Garb al-Andalus”, in Actas do III Congresso de Arqueologia Peninsular. Vila Real de Trás-os-Montes, Setembro de 1999, Vol. VII: Arqueologia da Idade Média da Península Ibérica, Porto, 2000, pp.421–4.
Susana Gómez Martínez "Lamp" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2016. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;pt;Mus01;1;en
Prepared by: Susana Gómez Martínez
Translation by: Gilla Evans
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen
MWNF Working Number: PT 03