Roman Amphorae: a digital resource

University of Southampton, 2005 (updated 2014)

Data copyright © University of Southampton unless otherwise stated

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Dr David Williams
Dept of Archaeology
University of Southampton
Avenue Campus
SO17 1BJ
Tel: 080 593032

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University of Southampton (2014) Roman Amphorae: a digital resource [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]

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Late Roman Amphora 2

Late Roman Amphora 2

Courtesy of Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology
Donald Frey

Distinctive Features

This is a globular amphora with a short conical neck, cupped, splayed or everted rim and two short bowed handles from the shoulder to the neck. However, this type was produced for some three hundred years and shows a development of form over that period (Opaiţ, 1996; 2004a: Figs. 7-10, 2004b; Karagiorgou, 2001; Sciallano & Sibella, 1991). At the beginning of the fourth century AD there is deep horizontal rilling on the shoulder and lower part of the body, while the central girth is decorated with broad rilling. There is a broad funnel-shaped mouth, longish body and small basal knob. At the end of the fourth / beginning of the fifth century, the form is shorter with a more squat body while the rilling is confined only to the shoulder area. By the middle of the sixth century the form is more oval in shape and the neck sharply conical. At this time the basal knob has shrunk to a basal wort. By the end of the sixth century the neck and rim are narrower with the rim sharply everted and the rilling appears wavy. However, it is clear that these variations, especially concerning the rim form, may not be strictly chronological but possibly regional (Swan, 2004).
See characteristics

Date Range

The type occurrs in contexts of the early fourth century AD in Scythia (Opaiţ, 1996; 2004a; 2004b) and at Athens (Robinson, 1959: Type M272). At Carthage there is a marked increase in its presence from about the mid sixth century, while production seems to have ended by the first half of the seventh century (Riley, 1981; Peacock, 1984a). It should be noted that Opaiţ (2004a; 2004b) believes that the antecedence of this form goes back to the first and second centuries AD.
Search: [4th century AD] [5th century AD] [6th century AD] [7th century AD]


Production is attested on Chios and Cnidos (see Opaiţ, 2004a; 2004b) and at Kounoupi in the Argolid (Munn, 1985). Given the large volume of finds for this form other production areas are quite possible.
Search: [Eastern Mediterranean] [Greece] [Greek Islands] [The Aegean]


A widespread distribution (Peacock & Williams, 1986), ranging from Britain (Thomas, 1981) to Tunisia (Riley, 1981; Peacock, 1984b], Cyrenaica (Riley, 1979), Athens (Robinson, 1959), Scythia (Opaiţ, 1996). The lower Danube (Karagiourgou, 2001; Swan, 2004), southern France (Bonifay & Villedieu, 1989) and at Tarragona (Keay, 1987).
Search: [Central Europe] [Cyprus] [France] [Great Britain] [Greece] [North Africa] [Spain]


There is evidence for both wine and olive oil, although Opaiţ suggests that this type most probably carried olive-oil (Opaiţ, 1996; 2004a; 2004b). Capacity is around 40 to 45 litres (Opaiţ, 2004b)
Search: [Olive Oil] [Wine]


Principal contributor: David Williams


Benghazi Late Roman Amphora 2
British B1
Carthage Late Roman Amphora 2
Keay 65
Kuzmanov 19
Peacock & Williams 43
Scorpan 7A


The following link will take you to the Centro para el Estudio de la Interdependencia Provincial en la Antiguedad Clásica CEIPAC database. In the CEIPAC system this amphora has the ID KE51+BYZ. Note: access to CEIPAC requires registration, which is possible via