Roman Amphorae: a digital resource

University of Southampton, 2005 (updated 2014)

Data copyright © University of Southampton unless otherwise stated

This work is licensed under the ADS Terms of Use and Access.
Creative Commons License

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) logo

Primary contact

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

Send e-mail enquiry

Resource identifiers

Digital Object Identifiers

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are persistent identifiers which can be used to consistently and accurately reference digital objects and/or content. The DOIs provide a way for the ADS resources to be cited in a similar fashion to traditional scholarly materials. More information on DOIs at the ADS can be found on our help page.

Citing this DOI

The updated Crossref DOI Display guidelines recommend that DOIs should be displayed in the following format:
Sample Citation for this DOI

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

University of Southampton logo


Click on the image to see larger versions of each image.

Greco-Italic Greco-Italic Greco-Italic Greco-Italic Greco-Italic Greco-Italic
Greco-Italic fabrics

Visual characteristics

Hand specimens exhibit a variety of fabrics that differ in terms of their hardness, colour and inclusions, reflecting the existence of different production areas that are known to have existed in Italy, southern Spain, southern France and possibly north Africa.


Greco-Italic amphorae display a wide variety of fabrics. Six photomicrographs are available on this site, and it will be noted that all of them are different petrologically, suggesting six different sources. The sample from Mondragone has volcanic minerals suggesting a local origin, near Naples. The sample from Portus has a fine fabric with large rounded quartz grains and foraminifera. The sample from Sabratha, Libya has a fine grained fabric with much quartz. The example from Carthage has large quartz grains in a relatively fine matrix. A second example from Carthage is in a typical north African fabric with an admixture of quartz and limestone. All this suggests local production in each case but the sample is a small one and much more research is needed. Variability of fabric has also been explored by means of X-Ray flouresence analysis. Recent work has allowed characterization of production areas in Italy (Hesnard et alii 1989).