Jean BUSSIERE - Lampes antiques d'Algérie,(préf. S. Lancel), 2000, 600 p., 56 fig. et tab., 165 pl. ph. h.t. (ISBN: 2-907303-42-2)
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The culmination of an intensive study started in the 1960s on the sites and in the museums of Algeria, this magisterial work first and foremost presents a reconsidered typology of the terracotta lamps of Punic, Hellenistic and Roman Algeria : a work of reference which completes and in some cases corrects or refines the classifications already proposed by other specialists for the lamps of Tunisia and Morocco. Our knowledge of the ancient lamps of Africa is thus much enriched, and the volume is an invaluable tool in the identification of African products, which, particularly in Late Antiquity, were traded along the western Mediterranean coast.
Bringing together some 8,000 lamps, of which more than 2,300 are illustrated by photographs, the catalogue on which this study is based is itself a work of reference for both the typology and iconography of these objects. In it can be found, together with the nuances specific to different workshops and an important study of lamp-maker's stamps, the full repertoire of images and symbols which made the Roman Empire a single cultural entity. In accurately defining the typology and chronology of the lamps made and/or used in Algeria in Antiquity, while illustrating the force of Romanisation over the course of the centuries, this volume reconsiders many received ideas, while putting forward a simple and practical classification of African lamps.