Roman Amphorae: a digital resource

University of Southampton, 2005 (updated 2014)

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Dressel 14

Dressel 14

Beltrán 4B type. Courtesy of Jewry Wall Museum, Leicester
David Peacock

Distinctive Features

This has a thickish beaded rim and ovoid handles with a shallow groove down the centre. The cylindrical body has a long hollow spike. In the southernmost part of Portugal, near Castro Marim, a production centre was identified in the late 19th century which produced amphorae similar to the Dressel 14 but with a short neck and an oval body (Vasconcellos, 1989; Maia, 1979; see also Fabião & Carvalho, 1990 and Fabião, 2004).

Minimum height: 90 cm (canonical form and piriform variant); early and late variants unknown; 84 cm for the Castro Marim production.
Maximum height: 110 cm (canonical form and pririform variant); early and late variants unknown; 93 cm for the Castro Marim production.
Minimum rim diameter: 20 cm (canonical variant); 14. 5 cm (piriform variant); 16 cm for the Castro Marim variant.
Maximum rim diameter: 22 cm (canonical variant);16 cm (piriform variant) 20 cm for the Castro Marim variant.
Minimum width: 27.5 cm (canonical variant); 28.5 cm (piriform variant); 28 cm l (for the Castro Marim variant)
maximum width: 30 cm (canonical variant); 30 cm (piriform variant); 33 cm l (for the Castro Marim variant)
See characteristics

Date Range

Under this general classification of Dressel 14 are usually grouped several amphorae with common features. At present, in Lusitania (Portugal), at the principal production centres identified at the Sado valley kiln centres, we can identify an earlier production with an unusual collar rim, dating to the Claudian period. The form with the canonical body and the one with a narrow neck and piriform body, with the greatest diameter in the lower part, seem to date from middle of the first to the late second centuries AD. Finally, a late production which is much smaller, dates from late second to early third centuries AD (Mayet & Silva, 1998; 2002; see also Fabião, 2004).
Search: [1st century AD] [2nd century AD] [3rd century AD]


Portugal (Tejo and Sado valleys and a variant near Castro Marim) and also southern Spain, where a kiln is known at Calahonda (Beltrán Lloris, 1970).
Search: [North West Europe] [Portugal] [Spain] [Western Mediterranean]


Mainly the western Roman provinces, especially Portugal, Spain, France and Italy (Beltrán Lloris, 1970; Panella, 1973; Alarcão & Mayet, 1990) but with some exported to north Africa (Riley, 1979) and Britain (Carreras Monfort, 2000).
Search: [France] [Great Britain] [Italy] [North Africa] [North West Europe] [Portugal] [Spain] [Western Mediterranean]


Tituli picti suggest fish-based products (Zevi, 1966; Beltrán, 1970). The discovery of kilns in Portugal confirm this suggestion (Fabião & Carvalho, 1990 and Étienne, 1990).
Search: [Fish Sauce] [Fish-based products]


Principal contributor: Carlos Fabião


Augst 39
Beltrán 4A
Ostia 62
Peacock & Williams 20


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

Terres d’Amphores

Terres d’Amphores
The above link will take you to the new digital database of amphora types and fabrics from Gaulish production centres, 1st - 3rd century A.D. (Maison Archéologie & Ethnologie, René-Ginouvès).

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