- Light, Human Evolution, and the Palaeolithic
- The Role of Darkness in Ancient Greek Religion and Religious Practice
- Darkness and the Imagination: The Role of Environment in the Development of Spiritual Beliefs
- Rediscovering the Winter Solstice Alignment at Newgrange, Ireland
- Light and Shadow Effects in Megalithic Monuments in the Iberian Peninsula
- Sunlight, Divination, and the Dead in Aegean Ritual Tradition
- Illuminating Triangulations: Moonlight and the Mississippian World
- The Chacoan World: Light and Shadow, Stone and Sky
- Animate Shadows of Bears and Giants
- The Beautiful Face of Ra: The Role of Sunlight in the Architecture of Ancient Egypt
- The Handling of Light: Its Effect on Form and Space in the Greek Temple and the Byzantine Church
- In Visible Presence: The Role of Light in Shaping Religious Atmospheres
- Lighting in Muslim and Christian Religious Buildings: A Comparative Study
- Prehistoric Light in the Air: Celestial Symbols of the Bronze Age
- Phenomenology of Light: The Glitter of Salvation in Bessarion’s Cross
- The Light of the Flame: Use and Symbolism of Light and Lighting Devices in Traditional Greek Culture
- Encountering Photoamulets and the Use of Apotropaic Light in Late Antiquity
- Visibility, Privacy, and Missing Windows: Lighting Domestic Space in Ancient Mesopotamia
- Lighting the Good Life: The Role of Light in the Aristocratic Housing System duringLate Antiquity
- Thirty Days of Night: The Role of Light and Shadow in Inuit Architecture, North of the Arctic Circle
- Household Consumption of Artificial Light at Pompeii
- Industrializing Light: The Development and Deployment of Artificial Lighting in Early Factories
- Materializing Light, Making Worlds: Optical Image Projection within the Megalithic Passage Tombs of Britain and Ireland
- Lighting in Reconstructed Contexts: Experiential Archaeology with Pyrotechnologies
- Çatalhöyük: A Study of Light and Darkness—A Photo-essay
- Light and its Interaction with Antiquities and Works of Art: A Conservator’s Perspective
- Lighting and Museum Exhibits
- Modalities of Meaning: Light and Shadow in Archaeological Images
- Reconstructing Artificial Light in Ancient Greece
- The Eleusinian Projector: The Hierophant’s Optical Method of Conjuring the Goddess
- Constructing the Invisible: Light and Darkness in the Topography of Hades
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter presents an overview of artificial lighting means and their efficiency in the performance of domestic nocturnal activities (except cult practices) in ancient Greece. Through experiments conducted in the Lighting Laboratory of the National Technical University of Athens, the optical properties of exact copies of ancient light sources are investigated. The experimental data are used to assess the sufficiency of light produced by the lighting devices, and to examine the resulting lighting conditions in relation to colour perception and domestic nocturnal activities. The results show that people in antiquity could move around and operate with relative ease at night. Most domestic nocturnal activities could be performed even by the light of a single lamp, provided that it was located relatively nearby. Activities involving colour discrimination, such as weaving, were the most difficult but not impossible to perform. Therefore, artificial light in antiquity could be both effective and economical.
Dorina Moullou is an archaeologist of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs. She completed her Masters and PhD degrees at the University of Crete, Greece, researching the artificial illumination in Greek antiquity. Her research interests include the study of lighting devices and of illumination in antiquity as well as the application of modern methodological tools in archaeological research and interpretation.
Frangiskos V. Topalis teaches the course of lighting and photometry at the National Technical University of Athens and he is the director of the Lighting Laboratory. He has delivered numerous papers in international conferences regarding photometry and lighting systems and has published more than 150 papers in academic journals, book chapters and conference proceedings. He is also the author of 2 books on illumination techniques and lighting technology. Lastly, he has coordinated more than 50 projects in the field of photometry and lighting and has organised various seminars and conferences.
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