[||] AMPHORAS Project
( ) Bibliography
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Amphoras at WWW sites
- Excavations on land
- AFRICA: Leptiminus
- BLACK SEA: Elizavetovskoe, Panskoe I, Sinope
- BRITAIN Paul Tyers Roman Amphoras in
Britain, Verulanium, Isle of Wight, Colchester
- CANARY ISLANDS
- GREECE: Halai, Isthmia, Olynthus, Chios, Corinth
- EGYPT: Bir Umm Fawakhir, Eastern desert,
Luxor-Farshût Desert Road, Karanis, Various sites
- ITALY: Rione Terra, Monte Testaccio, Lugnano Teverina
- SPAIN: CEIPAC, Huelva, Seville
- SYRIO-PALESTINE: Aqaba, Jordan; Masada, Israel
- Underwater excavations
- AFRICA: Various Roman wrecks
- BLACK SEA: Crimea
- CYPRUS: Kyrenia, Paphos
- FRANCE: Grand-Congloué, Arles IV, Basses de Can,
Madrague de Giens, La Pointe de Lequin
- GREECE: Antikythera
- ITALY and SICILY: Secca dei Mattoni, Ponza cargo ship,
Lake of Albano, Gela, Giglio Porto, Punic Wreck, Palermo
- SYRIO-PALESTINE: Caesarea Maritima, Tantura (Tel Dor)
- TURKEY: various sites
- Miscellaneous references to wine and amphoras
For a much more complete list of excavation descriptions and reports online,
see the Classics and Mediterranean Archaeology Home Page (Sebastian Heath at
University of Michigan), under
projects and Site Specific Reports. The ones here are choosen only for
their amphora content.
report on excavations, including amphora burials, and amphora
production (2nd to 5th centuries AD). Image of a jar neck with its stamp.
- BLACK SEA
- Translation into English of part of
a book by the Soviet scholar, I.B. Brashinskii. Includes a description
of amphoras found at the Elizavetovskoe burial site, possibly
symbolizing libation, and perhaps even used at funeral feasts.
- Panskoe I
- Translation into English of an
article by S.Iu. Monakhov on this extensive burial ground, describing
the use and types of amphoras found: Heraclean, Khersonesan, Chian,
"Solokha" I and II, Thasian, Sinopean.
- Turkish airlines note on Sinope and its history with special reference to amphora potteries.
Illustration of a 13th c Sinopean jar. Description of Turco-French survey
and subsequent excavation of several kilns, and the stamped jars that
were found in them.
- Roman Amphoras in Britain, by Paul Tyers
Home page, with description and table of contents, of part of a
book, Roman Pottery in Britain (London: Batsford 1996).
Includes an "Introduction to Roman amphoras" and a visual index of
amphora types: text descriptions (shape, fabric, capacities, date,
origin, distribution etc), a clickable distribution map, and a
bibliography for each type, including:
Micaceous `water jars' (British B4), Egyptian `carrot'
jars (Camulodunum 184), Dressel 1, Dressel 2-4 (Pseudo-Koan), Baetic
oil jars (Dressel 20 and the related `Haltern' and `London 255'
jars), Gauloise, Kapitän, Campanian (Mid-Roman Campanian),
North African (Byzacena), Pascual 1 (Layetanian), Richborough 527,
late (Roman) Rhodian, Spanish `Salazon'.
- This site is part
of Internet Archaeology, a new online archaeology journal. A
registration procedure -- acceptance of copyright terms by giving
personal details in return for a password -- is theoretically
required to protect copyright.
- British-made amphoras attest a local wine industry near St Albans in the 1st c AD.
- Isle of Wight
- Roman amphoras
found in a survey include jars from Italy, Spain, France. Report of the
Ancient Monuments Laboratory Report Series.
- Description of intact burial
of 50 BCE containing various domestic goods and amphoras, one Spanish, from Current Archaeology
- CANARY ISLANDS
- Ecavations on the Island of Lanzarote produced sherds of Roman amphoras reported in
a newsbrief in Archaeology 50.3 (1997), as datable from 1-4c BCE from Campania, Baeitca, and Tunisia.
- Halai in Locris
- report on the 1990-91
season, including publication of several amphora fragments from 3rd
and 6th centuries AD.
on excavations of 1994, specifically on the
pottery dump from older excavations at the site.
- Classical and Late Classical houses with storage amphoras for washing water,
for mixing cement, and for storage of wine or oil:
- Illustrations of two 4th c BC Chian amphoras
can be found with a description of a 1999 field season project in Greece
to be conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
of a coin of Corinth with an amphora and grapes in a presentation from the
Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection on Corinthian coinage as a
reflection of life in ancient Greece.
- Bir Umm Fawakhir
of a survey in 1992-93 by the Oriental Institute of Archaeology
at Chicago. Some Gaza amphora fragments were found at this Byzantine
town in the eastern desert of Egypt.
- Eastern desert
- Reports by the Asiut Project, University of Michigan, of
Hellenistic finds from many sites (Bir Samut, Wadi Jarahish, Rawd
al-Liqah, Bir 'Iayyan, Bir 'Umm Howeytat) including "thickened rim
amphorae", and of Roman finds at Wadi Jirf, Wadi Matula, Bir
Dunqash, including some Tripolitanian amphoras.
- Luxor-Farshût Desert Road Project
- Report of desert tracks from the ancient quarries near Thebes
to Farshût. Hellenistic amphoras and later Coptic jars were
found in 1993-94.
- An excellent exhibit of food in the ancient world includes shows an
of the 1st c. BC from the University of Michigan excavations at Karanis,
now in the Kelsey Museum in Ann Arbor Michigan,
together with the stamps on its handles.
- Various sites in Egypt (1995 season)
- Reported in KMT 6:4 KMT Communications are:
- Zawiyet Umm el Rakham: a Rameses II fort, including "Canaanite
amphorae and Syrian and Egyptian wine jars" excavated by Stephen Snape.
- Romano-Byzantine amphoras from El Amarna containing acacia pods
and other plant materials, being studied by archaeobotanist Wendy Smith.
- A 17c AD (!) shipwreck in the Red Sea, carrying porcelain, and
transport amphoras as well as coffee from Yemen, found by Douglas and
Cheryl Haldane of INA Egypt (Sadana Island wreck).
- Project to analyse the contents of Canaanite jars imported
into Egypt at University of Bradford, UK
- Rione Terra, Pozzuoli
- Two tavernas have been excavated, both with amphoras, one on the
Via Ripa, and the other on the
Via S. Procolo. Discussion of the use of the jars and some images are
given: Via Ripa
Via S. Procolo
including Dressel 2-4, Kapitän 1, Dressel 21-22. All 2nd half 1st AD.
- Monte Testaccio, Rome
- This amazing mountain of discarded amphoras in the centre
of Rome is the subject of an extensive, well-illustrated, and well-arranged
exhibition, documenting the millions of Dressel 20-23 and
other imported olive oil jars, dating, perhaps in two layers, to 1c-mid 2c AD
and after mid 2c AD.
"Il Monte delle
anfore (Monte Testaccio in Roma)",
WWW Mostra Testaccio,
includes graphics and text, in Italian, Spanish, Catalan, and English.
Major exposition of Dressel 20/Baetic amphoras.
- Lugnano Teverina, Umbria
- amphoras found near this
in the excavations of a 1c BC villa at Poggio Gramignano by
a joint Italian and American team were used for the fairly casual burial
of infants in the 5c AD.
- Centro para el Estudio Interprovincial en la Antigüedad Clásica
provides bibliography with abstracts (books) and often full text
(articles) of work by the Spanish amphorists. Also much information
on Beatic oil jars (Dressel 20), and on their export from sites in
Spain. Includes a description of the formation of a Corpus
informático del Instrumentum domesticum, an
epigraphical database of seals, graffiti, dipinti on common ware
from Spain, and its diffusion throughout the Mediterranean.
- Huelva, Spain
- A paper
by Vassiliki Kassianidou on the production of silver in Monte
Romero, a silver mine and workshop site near Huelva (possibly
ancient Tartaressos) (Papers from the Institute of Archaeology
(UCL) 4 (1993) 37). Included are finds of Paleo-Punic amphoras
among the sparse pottery of the period of intensive Phoenician
trade in silver with Spain. The jars, dated to 7--6c BC, help to
date the site.
- Seville, Spain
- An international congress held
in Seville in December 1998 on Baetic Amphoras.
- Aqaba, Jordan
of excavation in 1993-94 by Donald Whitcomb describes the
finding of a 7c AD amphora kiln, "illustrating the beginnings of
industrial production in the early Islamic period."
- Masada, Israel
- The Name of Herod the Great was found on an amphoras(?), dated to "ca 19 BC". The object is
also referred to as a wine "jug" and has no handles preserved.
- Roman wrecks (one of Punic War date)
- The Institute for Exploration mentions a number (5?) of Roman wrecks of
varying dates (some dated by their amphoras) discovered by Dr. Robert
Ballard's Jason ROV in the Mediterranean off Africa. The oldest dates to ca 100 BC
appears to contain 8 different kinds of amphora.
Reported also in the Washington Post,
and in Archaeology 50.6 (1997) newbriefs.
Another wreck containing
amphoras of the 5th c BC was reported by a commercial company, Odyssey
Marine Exploration, which has plans for an archaeological excavation.
- BLACK SEA
- The Underwater Archaeology Research and Training Center of Kiev University
and the Institute of Nautical Archaeology joint project: an excellent
sea-faring and wrecks in the area, illustrated with sketches and photos of
local and imported amphoras, including the cargo of another INA project,
the Kyrenia wreck. Shows early Hellenistic, Roman, and medieval jars, and
information about ships of various periods.
- At Kyrenia
- 4c BC wreck with a cargo of amphoras, together with 2 later
wrecks, documented in the 1981 film "The Ancient Mariners": a
of the film. Now report on the wreck
by Susan Katzev (1982) on Cyprus government website.
- At Paphos in western Cyprus
- Abstract [no longer at scholars press web site]
of "Ancient Wreckage Around the Paphos Promontory" by Robert L.
Hohlfelder (ASOR report on current excavations 1993--1995) --
describes shipwrecks surveyed in 1994, including one on the Moulia
Rocks known to divers as the "Cave of Amphoras," formed by a mass of
sherds from 2c BC Rhodian amphoras.
- Sites du littoral de la Méditerranée
- (Ministry of Culture of France, the Maison des sciences de l'homme,
and CNRS). Well-illustrated, with the emphasis on underwater techniques,
but there are images and text also about some of the amphora finds:
off Marseille. 2c BC. Two wrecks, one dating to
early in 2c BC (with Greco-Italic amphoras) and the other to late
2c--early 1c BC with Dressel 1A amphoras, probably made in Cosa, Italy.
- Arles IV,
near Cap Bénat. Early 1c AD. The 1991 "virtual
excavation" of Arles IV illustrates a synthetic imaging
technique on the cargo of amphoras (Dressel 7/11, and others)
primarily of Baetic oil jars from in Spain.
de Can, south-east of St. Tropez. 2c BC. The presentation includes
an image of a Dressel 1A amphora being brought up using crane on a
- The Madrague
de Giens, some way off the Rhône. Early 1c BC. A
wreck carrying thousands of Dressel 1 amphoras from Italy to
Spain, and showing the "dunnage" used to pack the jars in three
épaves de La Pointe de Lequin, off the north side of the
Porquerolles. Mid 6c BC, beg 5c BC, end 2c BC, mid 1c BC. Four wrecks,
beginning with early "east Greek" amphoras from the mid 6th
century, and ending with Dressel 2-4 from Spain.
de la Calanque de l'âne, opposite Marseilles among the
Frioul islands. End 1 AD. Cargo of tiles, both flat and rounded, with
domestic crockery on board, including "quelques amphores", for use
rather than trade.
de la Palud, near Port-Cros. 6c AD. Cargo of amphoras --
"amphores cylindriques africaines de grandes dimensions" -- with
early Christian graffiti, and a few oriental amphoras from Syria and
- Text of a
paper in a US Naval History Symposium by Rob S. Rice on the ca 87 BC wreck
off Antikythera. More interested in the instrument of celestial navigation
than the amphoras.
- ITALY and SICILY
(Archeologia Subacquea e Speleologia subacquea)
- includes descriptions of its operations, cave diving, underwater archaeology,
and excerpts from articles published in Mondo Sommerso and
Archeologia Viva. Of interest for amphora studies:
dei Mattoni wreck off the island of Ponza. 1/2 1c BC, containing
Brindisi, Dressel 1 and Lamboglia 2 amphoras.
cargo ship. 1c AD. Finds of wine, oil, and garum (fish sauce) in
Dressel 8 amphoras.
of Albano (Colli Albani, Rome, near Nemi). Miscellaneous finds
include oil jars from the Imperial period.
- "La nave
greca di Gela" (by Rosalba Panvini and Edoardo
Riccardi, 1993), a wreck of 6c BC, containing Chian, Attic, Punic,
Lesbian, Corinthian A, Massaliote and Samian amphoras, transporting
both wine and oil, in addition to much contemporary pottery. It
probably originated from the Peiraeus and stopped at other Sicilian
mistero di Santa Gilla" (by Paolo Bernardini, Vincenzo
Santoni, Emanuela Solinas 1993), a possible "officina ceramica" from
antiquity found in a bay near Cagliari.
al Giglio [Porto]" (by Paola Rendini, Maria Grazia
Celuzza, Franco Cambi 1992), a 1/4 3c AD wreck from Byzacena
(Tunisia) containing a cargo of "African II" amphoras, some stamped
on the neck. Also some "Mauretanian" wine amphoras and an oil jar
("africana piccola o IB").
- The Museo
Archeologico di Marsala
- provides information (and some images) on the
La Nave Punica (the Punic Wreck), perhaps from the Carathaginian
navy defeated by the Romans at Lilybeo in 241 AD, perhaps a cargo
ship. Carried Punic, Greco-Italic and Roman amphoras (and hashish!).
- the Istituto attivita
subacquee at Palermo gives information about underwater archaeology
courses and excavations; amphora material mainly from a 12th c CE
wreck at San Vito lo Capo, but finds in the "Museo del mare" date also
from 3c BCE to 6c CE.
- Caesarea Maritima
- A review of a
video on the harbor excavation, called "The Search for Herod's Harbor".
- Excavations by the University of Maryland,
combined Caesarea Expeditions web page.
- Tantura Lagoon (port of Tel Dor)
- Excavation and Surveys by INA have found seven wrecks in the coast
off Israel, some piled 3 deep in different eras. See INA's Virtual Museum of Nautical Archaeology for brief description and bibliography. The
three shipwrecks there are shown with full documentation of the excavations, and artefacts, including one wreck of Roman period, one Byzantine (5-6th centuries), and one of the 9th century. The last two include many images of the jars.
- Various sites
- Description of diving in Turkey
on various wrecks (incl Serce Liman, Uluburun etc) and
amphoras and other finds from them by a scuba enthusiast.
- For the INA excavations of the Bozburun Byzantine Shipwreck,
the Uluburun Bronze Age wreck, the Bronze Age wreck off Cape Gelidonya,
two wrecks of Yassiada, one 4c Roman and one 7c Byzantine,
and the Serce Limani 11c Byzantine Wreck,
Virtual Museum of Nautical Archaeology with excellent illustrations
of cargos and vessels.
- Photographs from Delos:
- a marble olive press and bench for amphoras, and
four amphora stands with another olive press
- Wine-making and sales in Roman Egypt:
- description of a papyrus, early 2nd AD.
- Museum catalogs describing and/or showing wine jars and jugs:
- Otago Museum (Athenian bowl, Corinthian oinochoe);
- the Derveni bronze krater;
- Kelsey Museum, Ann Arbor (Corinthian aryballos, 6c BCE);
- Ashmolean Museum (an amphoriskos attributed to the Eretria painter by J. Beazley).
- Description of petrographic analysis:
- Ian Whitbread at work analysing amphora fragments in 1992 at MIT
"Getting to Know a Pot Microscopically."