Several lamps from Area 9 are decorated with a specific motif in the area between the nozzle and lamp fill hole. One obvious possiblity is to connect the design with the symbol of the menorah. This desigin has been identified on lamps from Jordan and Palestine where scholars have proposed other possibilities for its interpretation. At Tuneinir the design never takes the classic shape of a menorah when on lamps or when painted on pottery vessels. It seems more likely that this is a "Tree of Life." This motif could also stand for the palm as related to the story of Christ entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.


A wheelmade hooded saucer discovered by Jim Walker in locus 945028 resting on plaster floor surface 945029 and 50 cm. beneath plaster floor surface 945027. The lamp measures 6.5 by 7.3 cm. and is 3.2 cm. tall. It is dark reddish brown (2.5YR3/4) with very small traces of deteriorated green glaze. It is smaller than the typical Ayyubid blue glazed hooded saucer lamps from many areas at Tuneinir. It closely resembles the small hooded saucer lamps discovered in the Seljuk loci in Area 2 during 1996.



A slipper shaped clay oil lamp, moldmade, discovered by Jim Walker in locus 924048 at a depth of 10 cm. below plaster floor surface 924049. The lamp measures 17.5 cm long by 6.4 cm. wide and 4.0 cm. tall. It is light yellowish brown (10YR6/4) with molded decoration on the shoulder and decoration in the area between the wick and fill holes. It belongs to the Umayyad or Early Abbasid Period forms.



A triangular shaped clay oil lamp, made by slab techique, discovered by Jim Walker in locus 935019 at a depth of 5 cm. beneath the surface of plaster floor 935019. The lamp measures 8.45 cm long, 6.0 cm. in width, and 2.3 cm. tall. It is brown (7.5YR5/4) in color and greatly resembles a triangle shaped stone lamp from Qasr al-Hayr East (Grabar et al. 1978:plate Ap.66).



An intentional offering a 9 clay oil lamps, 2 iron arrowheads, and an iron short sword. These items were removed from the monastery and buried in the south courtyard of the monastery church. Professor Michael Fuller interprets these artifacts of related to a local tradition at Tuneinir of martyrs. The sword and arrowheads were possibly stained with martyr's blood while the 9 moldmade, slipper shaped oil lamps probably represented 9 specific martyrs. Discovered during 1998 by Jim Walker. The lamps are decorated with designs that resemble the Jewish menorah. The local artist may have intentionally used this design as the menorah or, more likely, used the design to represent the "Tree of Life" that was belonged in the Garden of Eden.



Lamps from the offering cache.


Lamps from the offering cache.


Lamps from the offering cache.


Worn and corroded lamp found in Area 9 and dating from the Umayyad/Abbasid Period. Lamps in this condition are more common than lamps with well preserved surfaces.


Moldmade slipper lamp form. This lamp is from Square 56, Locus 02.


Base to a blue glazed hooded saucer lamp. This form belongs to the Ayyubid Period and is evidence that some activity continued in the monastery through the 13th century.


Blue glazed hooded saucer lamp. This form belongs to the Ayyubid Period and is evidence that some activity continued in the monastery through the 13th century.


Fragment of a glass oil lamp of a style typical of the Byzantine and Early Islamic period.

Webpage created 1 October 2008.
Webpage updated 30 December 2008