Roman oil lamp with a large cuttlefish (squid or octopus)

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Description

ITEMOil lamp with a large cuttlefish (squid or octopus), Loeschcke Type 4. Mold-made
MATERIALTerracotta
CULTURERoman
PERIOD1st Century A.D
DIMENSIONS40 mm x 68 mm x 107 mm
CONDITIONGood condition
PROVENANCEEx Emeritus collection (USA), collected from the 1950’s to the 1980’s by a distinguished university professor who served as Department head, Dean and Vice President of a major university.
PARALLELTHE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, Accession Number: 74.51.2063

The octopus was known in the ancient Mediterranean for its intelligence, craftiness, and strong tentacles. Romans told stories of octopuses stealing from humans by taking fresh fish from pools and breaking terracotta pots to reach pickled fish inside. The owl stood for wisdom.