Pottery lamp, Pakistan

This pottery vessel was excavated from Nal in the Indus Valley (located in present day Pakistan) and dates to around 2500BC. The container is assumed to be an oil lamp, and the corners would have supported wicks.

The lamp is very finely made, having been wheel thrown and very decoratively painted. The distinctive shape of the square rim was produced by the potter pinching the corners of the vessel after it was thrown. Potters in the Indus Valley were using a wheel to produce vessels several thousand years before those in Britain.

Exchanged with Newbury Museum in 1953.

Accession number: 1953.1.15