Roman Amphorae: a digital resource

University of Southampton, 2005 (updated 2014)

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Dr David Williams
Dept of Archaeology
University of Southampton
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SO17 1BJ
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University of Southampton (2014) Roman Amphorae: a digital resource [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]

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Tripolitanian 2

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Tripolitanian 2 Tripolitanian 2 Tripolitanian 2 Tripolitanian 2 Tripolitanian 2 Tripolitanian 2 Tripolitanian 2
Tripolitanian fine fabric

Visual characteristics

The finer Tripolitanian fabric is hard, with rough surfaces and a hackly fracture in which some quartz grains can be seen, pinkish-red (10YR 6/6) in colour, and with white surfaces resulting from the use of saline water. The finer Tripolitanian fabric has been attested at the Zitha kiln.


In thin section the finer Tripolitanian fabric displays a groundmass which is relatively clean with a scatter of fine quartz grains average size 0.05 mm across. Occasional large quartz grains up to 0.5 mm occur, with a few fragments of cryptocrystalline limestone (Peacock & Williams, 1986: Class 36).
Tripolitanian coarser fabric


Equivalent to: CAM AM 1 of the National Roman Fabric Reference Collection (Tomber & Dore, 1998: 88)

Visual characteristics

The coarser Tripolitanian fabric can be difficult to distinguish in the hand-specimen from the Africana types as it also contains numerous small inclusions of white limestone or white reaction rims and the colour range is similar. The fabric is hard, rough and brick-red (2.5YR 6/6) in colour, sometimes with a black surface and frequently with a white outer skin. The coarser fabric has been attested in the region of Leptis Magna.


Thin sections of the coarser Tripolitanian fabric are quite different from those of the central Tunisian products despite superficial similarities in the hand-specimen. The Tripolitanian wares contain limestone but usually have very little quartz apart from a scatter of fine (0.10-20 mm) grains in an otherwise clear matrix. Medium-grained quartz seems to be an essential component of central Tunisian wares (Peacock & Williams, 1986: Class 36).


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