What Kind of Oil Was Used in Lamps in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, lamps were an essential source of light. They were mostly fueled by oil, which was readily available and easy to produce.

But the question is, what kind of oil was used in lamps in ancient times? Let’s explore.

The Different Types of Oil Used in Ancient Times

There were many types of oils used in ancient times, but some were more popular than others. Here are some examples:

Olive Oil

Olive oil was one of the most common oils used in lamps during ancient times. It was readily available in the Mediterranean region and was easy to produce. Olive oil burns cleanly and has a pleasant smell, making it an excellent choice for lamps.

Animal Fat

Animal fat, such as tallow or lard, was also commonly used as fuel for lamps. It was readily available from animals that were hunted or raised for meat and provided a cheap source of fuel. However, animal fat burned with a strong odor and produced a lot of soot.

Fish Oil

Fish oil was another popular choice for lamp fuel. It was readily available from fish that were caught for food and had a high energy content, making it an efficient fuel source. However, fish oil had a strong odor that many people found unpleasant.

The Advancement in Lamp Fuel Technology

As time progressed, lamp fuel technology advanced significantly. Newer fuels such as kerosene and paraffin wax became popular during the 19th century. These fuels burned much cleaner than traditional oils like olive or animal fat and therefore produced less soot.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, there were many types of oil used in lamps during ancient times. Olive oil, animal fat, and fish oil were some of the most common choices due to their availability and efficiency. However, as technology advanced, new fuels such as kerosene and paraffin wax became more popular, leading to cleaner-burning lamps.