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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Keay 27

Distinctive Features

This type of amphora is described by Keay (1984) as comprising a "tall cylindrical body, terminating in a rounded base and a poorly pronounced foot. The neck has an hour-glass profile, while the rim is an everted extension of the neck. The handles have a narrow profile while the upper arm joins the amphora a short distance below the rim".

Keay divides this type into two variants:
- A : rim with a sheer face and traces of an offset at it junction with the neck,
- B rim with a poorly defined lip,
but only type B is common. Early variants are characterised by a gently everted rim with an internal bulge and upper arm of the handles more distant from the rim (example at Ostia).
See characteristics

Date Range

Second half of the fourth (early variants) and mainly fifth centuries AD, (525 according to Peacock, 1984c).
Search: [4th century AD] [5th century AD] [6th century AD]


Fabric and shape support a Tunisian origin, perhaps in the north-western region.
Search: [North Africa] [Tunisia]


Distributed in Tunisia, mainly in the Carthage region, and broadly in the western Mediterranean (Catalunya, southern France and Italy). Some examples are known from the eastern Mediterranean. There are 35 Spanish examples in Keay (1984). One complete example has been found at Ostia, and around 25 at Carthage (Freed, 1995). OpaiĊ£ notes an example of variant B from a late Roman burial at Tomi in Scythia (OpaiĊ£, 2004).
Search: [Black Sea] [Eastern Mediterranean] [France] [Italy] [North Africa] [North West Europe] [Spain] [Tunisia]


Unknown. Olive oil is a strong possibility but other contents cannot be excluded since some examples are lined with pitched (Bonifay, 2004)
Search: [Olive Oil]


Principal contributor: Michel Bonifay


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

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