Roman Amphorae: a digital resource

University of Southampton, 2005 (updated 2014)

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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 5

Variants of Late Roman Amphora 5:

[Late Roman Amphora 6]

Distinctive Features

Though recognised as a late Roman type, the form was a typical Palestinian product throughout the Roman and Byzantine periods. There is a great deal of variation due to its production throughout Palestine (Piéri, 2005). Throughout the second to seventh centuries AD, north Palestinian products have ring handles on the shoulder, a vertical neck, and a sagging, globular body, wider at the base than at the top. Early (second to third centuries AD) examples (Piéri, 2005: Type 1A, Fig. 1) are more cylindrical and smaller than later examples (Piéri, 2005: Type 2A, Fig. 2), the latter being particularly tronco -conical. The same tronco -conical shape continues into the Ummayad period. Early examples have shorter rims than Byzantine examples, which tend to have a moulding at the base of the neck. The body of Piéri Type 1 is partly ribbed, with the centre being left plain. Later examples are ribbed all over the body. The vessels are usually fired to a pale yellow-orange colour. Decoration of the body in white painted loops and horizontal lines is typical. Another series is typical of the late fifth to seventh centuries AD (Piéri, 2005: Type 3, Fig. 3). It has a true globular body and a short, thick vertical rim. The ribbing covers most of the vessel. This type is not usually painted? Note the variant of this shape with a rather square band rim produced/in use in some parts of Galilee, including Capernaum (the ‘Bata’ type/’Galilean jar’, Reynolds, 2005a: Fig. 4).

Products of the monasteries of northern Egypt beyond the Nile delta are similar to Type 3, but smaller. Some have characteristic rim types (Piéri, 2005: Type 4, Fig. 5).

It should be noted that production of the general type continued during the Ummayad period (Piéri, 2005: Type 5; Reynolds, 2003b: Fig. 1.9-10; Peacock & Williams Class 63, a small variant, probably Egyptian, from Lake Mariout). Abbassid vessels have taller rims, extenuated loop handles (not a circular profile), and a narrower sagging body. All Abbassid examples in Beirut are of Egyptian origin.

Minimum height:39.5 (mid sixth century AD Piéri Type 3)
See characteristics

Date Range

First to second centuries AD to c. AD 750 (e.g. Caesarea examples in Ummayad Beirut). Production of the general type continues throughout the Abbassid period.
Search: [1st century AD] [2nd century AD] [3rd century AD] [4th century AD] [5th century AD] [6th century AD] [7th century AD] [8th century AD]


Palestine, with northern Egyptian production from the late fifth century AD onwards. Abbassid production was concentrated in northern Egypt and Jordan.

Palestine: kilns are known in northern Palestine (classic LRA 5: Horvat Uza/Tell Ayadiya; ‘Bata type’: Bata, Nahf, Horvat Uza/Tell Ayadiya), although the range of products suggests production throughout Palestine: note the likely ecclesiastical production near Ramat Rahel (Aharoni, 1964); Piéri Type 3 may be typical of Judaea-Jerusalem; Piéri Type 4 was produced in northern Egypt amongst the Christian religious communities of Abu Mena and Kellia on Lake Mariout.
Search: [Egypt] [Jordan] [North Africa] [Palestine] [The Levant]


See Piéri (2005) and Reynolds (2005b: Tables) for a detailed distribution list. Second to fourth centuries AD examples: Palestine (notably Caesarea, Jerusalem), Beirut, Alexandria?; fifth to seventh century AD examples: Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Zeugma, Cyprus, Greece (Athens; Argos; Corinth: late sixth-seventh century AD examples); Thasos), Istanbul, Rumania, Bulgaria, Butrint (Albania). Rare in the west: Rome, Naples, Cyrenaica, Carthage, Marseille (most common?), wrecks on the southern coast of France, Spain (Tarragona, L’Illa de Cullera, Cartagena, Alicante-Benalúa). Piéri Type 4 (rare finds outside Egypt) southern Palestine and Jordan: Cyprus, Beirut (Reynolds, 2003b: Ummayad example), Benghazi, Apollonia, Kostolac (Serbia), Marseille) (Piéri 2005: 121-2).
Search: [Central Europe] [Cyprus] [Eastern Mediterranean] [Egypt] [France] [Great Britain] [Greece] [Italy] [Jordan] [Lebanon] [North Africa] [North West Europe] [Palestine] [Spain] [The Balkans] [The Levant] [Tunisia] [Western Asia Minor] [Western Mediterranean]


Associated with wine production in western Galilee (alongside the Agora M334 type: Reynolds, 2005a), Caesarea (Hirschfeld & Birger-Calderon, 1991), Jerusalem (Hamilton, 1934), at Modi‘In (Hizmi, 1992), and in the monasteries of north-western Egypt. Rabbinic texts note that the bag-shaped ‘havith’ contained primarily wine, but also oil, dry figs and fish sauce (Piéri, 2005: 125). Although this may be the case for local consumption, one could still suggest that exports were primarily wine. Examples of the sixth to seventh centuries AD variant Piéri Type 3 from a shipwreck off Dor, as well as those found in the harbour of Marseille, are pitched. Most examples of the fourth to fifth century AD type found in France are pitched (Bonifay & Piéri, 1995; Piéri, 2005: 126-7).

Capacity: early examples (Piéri Type 1A): 10-13 litres; fourth to fifth centuries AD examples (Piéri Type 2A) average at 30 litres; Piéri Type 3 average at 21-23 litres; Egyptian Piéri Type 4A/Kellia 187 and PiériType 4D average at 7-8.5 litres; Egyptian Piéri Type 4B/Kellia 188/Kellia 190: 10-15 litres.
Search: [Figs] [Fish Sauce] [Olive Oil] [Wine]


Principal contributor: Paul Reynolds


Kellia 187
Palestinian bag-shaped
Peacock & Williams 46
Pieri 1A
Pieri 2A
Pieri 3
Pieri 4A
Pieri 4B
Pieri 4D


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