Lamp with handle in the form of a horse

Roman Imperial Period
mid-1st century A.D.

Findspot: Sudan, Nubia, Begrawiya, Pyramid N 18, chamber A

Catalogue Raisonné

Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 489; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 125 (additional published references).


Height x width x length: 20.9 x 9.2 x 26 cm (8 1/4 x 3 5/8 x 10 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Out on Loan

On display at Drents Museum, Assen, The Netherlands, December 15, 2018 – May 5, 2019


The Ancient World


Lighting devices

This figural lamp shows the front half of a galloping horse at the top of the handle, whose form reproduces plant motifs. Both handle and feet were cast separately and soldered on. The burial of Queen Amanikhatashan was equipped with a collection of imported Roman objects, possibly gifts from a delegation sent about 60 A.D. by Emperor Nero to discover the source of the Nile. (A Roman expedition to Nubia is documented from his reign.)

Alternate text:

This lamp was discovered with several objects of Roman manufacture. They were possibly gifts to the queen of Meroe from the expedition of the emperor Nero sent about 60 A.D. to discover the source of the Nile.


From Tomb of Amanikhatashan (about AD 60-62), Meroe (Beg. North), Pyramid Beg. N 18, Chamber A. 1921: excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Sudan; 1924: received by the MFA.

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition