Amphora handle fragment with rectangular stamp - ROM2010_11689_17


Amphora handle fragment with rectangular stamp

Medium:Earthenware, modelled and stamped
Geography: From Brindisi, Apulia, Italy. Findspot unknown.
Date: c. 200-25 BC
Period: Roman Republican period
7.9 x 4.5 cm
Object number: 924.24.8
On view
Gallery Location:Eaton Gallery of Rome: trade and commerce

In the ancient Mediterranean world, the amphora was the standard container for transporting liquids and some foods. These ranged from wine to olive oil, a fish sauce called garum, and pickles. Innumerable amphorae were made from the 7th century BC to late Byzantine times, and many have been found in ancient shipwrecks. Most amphorae held about 15 to 20 litres, although larger ones did exist. Differences in shape served as a guide to the contents, along with ink or paint inscriptions.

The Roman occasionally stamped their amphorae with the marks of individual makers, instead of naming public officials in the older Greek tradition. Painted labels indicating source, contents, or year were common, along with painted or scratched markings of shippers. The first letters of a stamp are preserved on this handle fragment: MENA.A[…]

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