Macquarie University
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Roman and late antique ceramic oil lamps in the Museum of Ancient Cultures: a typological and compositional analysis

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posted on 2022-03-29, 00:38 authored by Keira De Rosa
This thesis will analyse the typology and composition of twenty-four unpublished Roman and Late Antique ceramic oil lamps from the Museum of Ancient Cultures, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. A typological examination is used to place each lamp into relevant provincial groups and chronological periods, accompanied with archaeological drawings. A new non-destructive analysis technique will be employed, Duel Energy Computed Tomography (DECT), to determine the mineralogical and chemical characteristics of each lamp. General mineralogical characteristics are examined through the analysis of CT images, determining consistency of clay bodies, presence of inclusions and evidence of damage and reconstruction. In addition, the CT data acquired is transformed into 3D virtual models. These models are analysed for evidence of manufacturing techniques evident on internal and external surfaces. Chemical compositional analysis is undertaken using Gemstone Spectral Imaging (GSI), with cluster analysis applied to determine groupings amongst the lamps. These new non-destructive methods of analysis are then compared and contrasted with the initial typological examination, to determine the validity and advantages of adopting these new techniques for the study ancient ceramic lamps. This study will suggest future recommendations for the utilisation of DECT for research in archaeology and conservation.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction -- Chapter 2. Catalogue of lamps -- Chapter 3. Techniques of manufacture -- Chapter 4. Compositional analysis -- Chapter 5. Conclusion.


Bibliography: pages 107-114 Theoretical thesis.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Ancient History

Department, Centre or School

Department of Ancient History

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Tom Hillard

Additional Supervisor 1

Jaye McKenzie-Clark


Copyright Keira De Rosa 2014. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (157 pages) illustrations (some colour)

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