Exhibitions/ Art Object

Part of a Lantern

8th century
Made in Eastern Mediterranean, excavated at al-Fudayn (Mafraq), Jordan
Steatite, carved and engraved
H: 7 7/8 in. (20 cm); diam: 5 7/8 in. (15 cm)
Credit Line:
Jordan Archeological Museum, Amman (J. 19312)
Not on view
Al-Fudayn, an Umayyad residence located on trade routes joining cities such as Gerasa (Jerash) with the Arabian Peninsula, belonged to the exceptionally wealthy great grandson of the third Orthodox caliph ‘Uthman ibin ‘Afan. It was destroyed in the early ninth century, when a subsequent owner opposed the Abbasids. These luxury goods were found together and were perhaps hidden at that time.
This dome-shaped lantern has a series of arcades containing hanging lamps around the base. The lamp may have been inspired by a monument such as the Dome of the Rock, an important early Islamic site in Jerusalem.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th–9th Century)," March 12, 2012–July 8, 2012.