Rims, spouts and bases evolved slowly during more than two thousand years into forms that we now recognize as characteristic of their respective time periods. These drawings show common types for each period in two views: from the top and from the side. The lamps are all drawn to the same scale, so a size comparison of characteristic lamps of each period is presented. In general, the early lamps, through the Persian period, are large—up to five inches in length—while the later lamps are much smaller, some no more than three inches in length.

The photographs accompanying this article do not show relative size; their scales vary.

Middle Bronze I (2250–2000 B.C.)

Four wick-rests; four-flap rim; flat base.

Middle Bronze II (2000–1500 B.C.)

Single, wide wick-rest; turned-in rim; rounded base.

Late Bronze II (1550–1200 B.C.)

Pinched wick-rest; turned-out rim; flat base.

Iron I—Israelite Settlement (1200–1000 B.C.)

Pinched wick-rest; turned-out rim; round base.

Iron II (north)—Israelite Monarchy (1000–721 B.C.)

(This lamp form developed in northern Israel during the Divided Kingdom. Distribution extended into the south.)

Pinched spout; flared rim; low, flat base.

Iron II (south)—Judean Monarchy (1000–587 B.C.)

(This lamp form developed in southern Israel during the Divided Kingdom. Its distribution did not spread further north than Megiddo.)

Pinched spout; flared rim; flat, high disc base.

Persian (587–333 B.C.)

Wick-rest higher than rim; flat, flaring rim; wide, flat base.

Hellenistic (fourth–second centuries B.C.)

Closed, one-hole wick-rest; round body; flat base.

Herodian (57 B.C.–135 A.D.)

Approaching closed discus; circle design may surround opening; round body; flat base.

Roman (second–third centuries A.D.)

Closed discus with small fill-hole; decorations on and around discus; low, disc base.

Byzantine (third–seventh centuries A.D.)

Round fill hole and wick-rest; pear-shaped body; distinctive Jewish, Christian and Samaritan decorations; small base.