Islamic lamps

In the three rooms (η, θ, ι) located to the south of the Palace of Baldu, some glassy fragments have been found which may be linked to Syrian or Egyptian lamp production (fig. 1).

Fig. 1 - Luogosanto, Palace of Baldu: graphic reconstruction of the fragments found (from PINNA, MUSIO 2012, p. 322, figs. 10-11).

Some of these have been reassembled and show three bands of Arabic inscriptions in blue enamel and decorations: they could refer to the same artefact or to other samples. Below the epigraphic band of two fragments which fit together, there are two fish engraved. The three texts have been translated with:

“[…] and the victorious […]”

"Defender of the rib??" (fig. 1)

"[...] The Sultan, the wise, the righteous, the [l ...]" (fig. 2).

Fig. 2 - Luogosanto, Palace of Baldu: fragments decorated with glazed inscriptions and engraved fish (from PINNA, MUSIO 2012, p. 322, fig. 12).

These are titles, such as Sultan, which refer to important figures whose name was not given and which are interpreted as sentences expressing a dedication (fig. 3).

Fig. 3 - Luogosanto, Baldu Palace: glass fragments with glazed enamelled decorations (from PINNA, MUSIO 2012, p. 321, fig. 9).

The fragments have been compared with Arab glass artefacts which have decorations and Islamic inscriptions as their features: these are cups and glasses from the XIII century found in other Italian regions, or mosque lamps or Syrian-Egyptian enamelled containers, dating back to between the thirteenth and the fifteenth centuries (figs. 4-5).

Fig. 4 - London, British Museum: beaker with red and gold enamelled decorations produced in Egypt (from
Fig. 5 - Berlin, Islamic Art Museum, Pergamon Museum: mosque lamp (from


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  • F. PINNA, D. CORDA, Scambi e circuiti commerciali nella Sardegna medievale: dati archeologici dal Palazzo di Baldu (Luogosanto, Olbia-Tempio), in Bulletin de la Société des sciences historiques et naturelles de la Corse, 2014, pp. 748-749.
  • F. PINNA, D. CORDA, Rappresentazione del potere, relazioni politiche e commerciali nel giudicato di Gallura. Il contributo dell’indagine archeologica del Palazzo di Baldu (Luogosanto, OT), in Atti del VII Congresso di Archeologia Medievale (Lecce, 9-12 settembre 2015).
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