Byzantine pottery lantern, 400-600 A.D.

It is a lamp with a central hole where a candle would be inserted. This lamp would be used in a domestic way to illuminate the rooms of the house in the hours of darkness. Its shape, which denotes a careful and achieved design, tells us that it could possibly belong to an economically positioned family. Many of the archaeological pieces that we conserve from the cultures of the antiquity are part of the objects of daily use. These objects of daily use inform us about their practices and ways of living. The fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century resulted in the ruin of the ancient world. However, Christianity was the driving force behind the continuity and evolution of the West in the Middle Ages, albeit slowly. Paleochristian art served as a bridge between classical and Christian culture to create a new art. It is an art that lives in its beginnings hidden, in many occasions persecuted. The followers of the new religion stimulated the appearance and extension of another iconography. Although to represent the beliefs and stories of their faith they often resorted to pre-existing visual prototypes, there is no doubt that the spirit that animated the visual creations of Christianity was beginning to be very different from the old polytheism.


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