Roman lamps discovered in the fort at Micia (Vețel, Hunedoara County) from the National History Museum of Romania collections
Considerations concerning the stamped lamps
This study focuses on the preliminary analyses of a specific type of archaeological material, namely the stamped lamps, discovered in the Roman fort at Micia. These finds have a special place within the framework of archaeological discoveries due to the fact that the stamps offer the possibility to identify the workshop in which the object was manufactured, such element being significant in establishing the relative chronology. We consider that the possibility for these objects to have been manufactured in places other than their original centers of manufacture (in local branches of northern Italic workshops or their replication in the local workshops), doesn’t decrease their value as a chronological benchmark. On the contrary, their value increases. Therefore, the purpose of the present paper is not to point out the typological aspects or those linked to the decoration of this type of objects, but to make a distinction between imported lamps and local products or possible local copies. By using the term “local products” we mean those lamps which were manufactured in workshops in the province of Upper Dacia, and not those manufactured specifically in the settlement of Micia. Although the settlement of Micia is well-known in archaeological literature as one of the centers of pottery production, this fact being confirmed as well by the discovery of two moulds (upper valve of a lamp mould and lower valve from a statuette mould), due to the absence of physical and chemical analyses made upon the clays of the lamps and the pottery discovered in the kilns, we can’t assign for certain any of the lamps in this study to the Roman settlement of Micia. The discovery of the above mentioned moulds, corroborated with the investigation of a group of kilns, points to the existence of some workshops which produced lamps in the vicinity of the Roman settlement of Micia. This reasoning is strengthened by the identification of the producers’ stamps that have not been found in other Roman provinces, as is the case of stamp CAI.