Courtesy Gideon Avni and Zvi Greenhut

Once brightening narrow tombs, oil lamps found in the three Akeldama caves now shed light on six centuries of burials. This Byzantine lamp, decorated with a cross by monks in the fifth and sixth centuries, shows clear differences in design from Roman lamps from the second to the fourth centuries and a double-nozzled lamp from the Second Temple period. These differences enable scholars to differentiate among them, though the basic shape remained largely the same.