Year 3

Year 3 – Today you are you, that is truer than true.

How to light your Roman oil lamp

Filed under: General News — Miss Bird at 11:26 am on Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tomorrow is Roman Day for us and we are very excited about all of the activities we will take part in. One of which will be making our own Roman oil lamp out of clay. For part of your homework, we would like you to try out your oil lamp with an adult. Here are the instructions and cannot wait to see if they all work!


This MUST be done with an adult!

Once it is dry you can try it out! take a piece of kitchen roll the length of the lamp base – roll and twist it into a thin rope. This will be the lamp wick which draws the oil out of the lamp. In Ancient Rome rolled up linen was often used in a similar way.


Pour some olive oil into the hole in the top of the lamp and wait a while until you can see it soaking into the wick. You can now light the wick.


Finished – this is the perfect light to use at a Roman feast.

The only slight problem with our one was the smell. It was slightly stinky when we blew it out, and gave off quite a sooty smoke. It might be worth experimenting with some different kinds of oils or wicks to see if some other vegetable oils are better, but is likely that olive oil was used in many of these lamps. Did the whole of Rome smell like this in the evenings? It would be lovely to know!

Keep checking back to see updates on the different activities tomorrow and check out our twitter for updates throughout the day.




December 5, 2016 @ 6:13 pm   Reply

This oil was very smokey.



December 5, 2016 @ 7:40 pm   Reply

I lit my oil lamp and it was still burning after 20 minutes so I blew the flame out and it made lots of black smoke

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