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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Agora F65-66

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Agora F65-66
Agora F65-66 fabric

Visual characteristics

An early version of the LR3 fabric. Very distinctive hard, thin-walled micaceous fabric, normally a lightish buff to grey or reddish-brown in colour.


Thin sectioning shows abundant flakes of muscovite and biotite mica, together with grains of quartz, fragments of metamorphic quartzite and rarer quartz-muscovite-schist. Heavy mineral separation on samples of Late Roman 3 amphora from Tintagel produced a practically monomineralic suite of dahllite grains, while a sample from Carthage contained garnet and kyanite (Williams, 1982). Dahllite normally occurs as a secondary mineral in phosphorite, though here the euhedral form and large grain size suggest an igneous source. Taken together, the petrological results suggest an origin in an area of igneous and metamorphic rocks. This would support the idea of an origin in western Asia Minor (Hayes, 1976: 117) rather than Byzantium (Thomas, 1976: 246) or Egypt (Grace: 1961, Fig. 67). The area around Byzantium is composed mainly of Devonian rocks, while the north of Egypt is predominantly made up of sedimentary rocks (assuming a source fairly close to the coast).


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