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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Africana 2C Grande

Distinctive Features

This is a fairly large cylindrical amphora ("Africano grande" type of Zevi & Tchernia, 1969). The rim is tall with a convex external face and a quite flat internal face. The gently curved conical neck is tall, and the shoulder quite wide. Handles are ear shaped in profile and oval in section. The body is broad, with its lower section tapering to a narrow base terminating in an elongated solid spike, with a widened, gently pointed, bottom ("baluster" shaped). The neck is occasionally stamped with incised letters in an incised frame on two lines. The first of these is invariably composed of the three letters C.I.N (separated by dots), which can be expanded to read C(olonia) I(ulia) N(eapolis) (Panella, 1973), while the second consists of an abbreviated name consisting of two or three letters. Late variants (Bonifay, 2004, variants C2-3) have a taller and narrower rim, sometimes facetted on the external face, a more elongated neck and a narrower body similar to the Africana 3 (=Keay 25) amphorae. These late variants occasionally bear anepigraphic stamps (circles or half-circles) on the neck.
See characteristics

Date Range

Middle to the end of the third century AD? Later variants continue into the fourth century AD.
Search: [3rd century AD] [4th century AD]


Production is attested to in the province of Zeugitana at Nabeul (Neapolis) (Bonifay, 2004), on the basis of the stamps and of the surveys in the territory of the city (Ghalia et al., 2005). Another north African origin for certain examples cannot be excluded.
Search: [North Africa] [Tunisia]


Broad but not massive distribution in west Mediterranean (Panella, 1973; Keay, 1984). Some examples reach the eastern Mediterranean area (Bonifay, 2004)
Search: [Eastern Mediterranean] [North Africa] [Western Mediterranean]


Perhaps fish-sauce (Bonifay, 2004). Capacity varies from c. 58 litres for variant 1 to c. 25 litres for variant 2.
Search: [Fish Sauce]


Principal contributor: Michel Bonifay


Keay 6

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