Binnur Gürler

Keywords: Tire Museum, 5TH and 7TH Centuries A.D., Oil Lamps


During Byzantine times, the Orthodox denomination of the Christian religion in Tire was clearly dominant. It is significant that after the Turks' conquest of Ephesus, the Christians living there were resettled in Tire. Tire, which in certain sources is called "The Famous City of the Rum (Greeks)", is mentioned both in historical documentation provided by researchers and in Church lists, as one of the Bishoprics of the Asian districts. There is also documentation concerning villages with churches, in the environs of Tire that reflect Byzantine characteristics. Anatolia in general and Ephesus, and its environs in particular, were important areas of oil lamp manufacturing, during the 5th and 7th centuries A.D. 6 oil lamps, from the 5th and 7th centuries A.D., at the Tire Museum, could be added to the group, mostly originating from Ephesus, which Miltner collectively named "Anatolian Oil Lamps", since they come from a contiguous area. The similarities with the artifacts found in Ephesus, which in the 5th and 6th centuries A.D. was a city with an export capacity, provide us with information concerning commerce, fashion and the manufacturing methods of that age. In addition to this, they also provide a little information complementing partially the holes in the data regarding Tire and its near environs, during the above mentioned centuries. The moulds used in the 5th century A.D. to make oil lamps were obtained from prototypes of the 3rd century A.D., with the consequence that characteristics of the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D. resurfaced in items of the 5th and 6th centuries A.D. Moulds obtained from oil lamps exported from Northern Africa and Anatolia were being used. The reason for this was that commercial activities in the Aegean and Mediterranean areas had weakened greatly in the 5th and 6th centuries A.D. Northern Africa and Anatolia were the main sources of exports. In Anatolia it was especially Ephesus that continued to export to Athens. In the 5th and 6th centuries A.D., Athens exported oil lamps to Corinth, Delphi and to other Greek cities, but its foreign markets were mostly lost.