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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Rhodian Type

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Rhodian Type Rhodian Type Rhodian Type Rhodian Type

Comments specific to this amphora type

Peacock (1977d) has distinguished six fabrics, of which Fabrics 1 and 2, both probably from the Rhodian Periera, are by far the most common.
Rhodian fabric 1


Equivalent to: RHO AM 1 of the National Roman Fabric Reference Collection (Tomber & Dore, 1998: 112)

Visual characteristics

Fabric 1 is a hard, fairly fine fabric, reddish-pink (5YR 7/6) with a paler slip on the outer surface. Scattered sparsely throughout are rounded red-brown particles up to about 0.5 mm across and larger (up to 3 mm) angular fragments of fine white limestone, which can cause spalling when near the surface.


Thin sectioning reveals numerous grains of red, brown and yellow serpentine, a sparse scatter of fine quartz, occasional grains of olivine and clinopyroxene and pieces of chert and cryptocrystalline limestone. Peacock suggested a Rhodian source on the basis of fabric similarities with Greek amphorae bearing Rhodian stamps (Peacock & Williams, 1986: Class 9).
Rhodian fabric 2


Equivalent to: RHO AM 2 of the National Roman Fabric Reference Collection (Tomber & Dore, 1998: 113)

Visual characteristics

Normally a hard, slightly rough fabric, creamy-white (10YR 8/4) and with occasional pieces of limestone up to 3 mm across, but these have more usually dissolved out, leaving voids.


Thin sectioning shows similarities with Rhodian Fabric 1, though the diagnostic brown minerals could not be identified with the same confidence and minerals such as pyroxene are much rarer. The white colour suggests the use of a different clay with less iron, though a Rhodian source is again a strong possibility (Peacock & Williams, 1986: Class 9).