Talk:Amphora

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Invented by Ancient Greeks?[edit]

Is there a source that can be cited to support this? I've heard from other sources that it is a Canaanite invention. Agne27 23:34, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Apparently amphorae existed in the early lower kingdoms of Egypt. So I would question both the Greek and Canaanite invention of these vessels and the dates of their appearance. This article needs to be rewritten. See article from the BBC at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7992575.stm This article concerns research done by Patrick McGovern, professor of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania on findings from a cache of amphorae in the tomb of one of the first pharaohs of Egypt, Scorpion I. The date of this tomb and the amphorae in it is 3150BC. (User:chritow 4/15/09) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chritow (talkcontribs) 14:07, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

I added information and links to the Chinese amphora from Banpo, Yangshao Culture, dated at 4800 BCE (2800 BC), which is the earliest record of any amphora I've been able to find. I did not write anything on who "invented" the design, since that would be conjecture. If anyone knows of any documented earlier amphora, please add it to the article. I checked the above link to the BBC article, and it does not mention any 3rd millenium BC amphora in Egypt; it mentions 3rd millenium BC wine jars compared to 4th and 6th century BC amphora. --Blueshifter (talk) 01:28, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Amphoras used until the 7th century! Not true![edit]

Amphorae are at least used until the first half of the 13th century AD. This information is based on several shipwrecks and their amphora cargoes located in the Sea of Marmara (Ancient Propontis). Actually, the kiln sites of these Byzantine transport jars were also discovered at Ganos. There is also a typology constructed by Nergis Gunsenin. The amphorae are called Gunsenin Type 1 and so forth.

The 7th century information in the Amphora article should therefore be corrected. Since the 7th century is linked to another page giving information on 7th century itself, I did not edit it myself - am a beginner.

Would anyone help?


For further information please see:

N. Gunsenin. "Ganos : Centre de Production d'Amphores à l'Epoque Byzantine" Anatolia Antiqua II, Paris (1993), p. 193-201.

N. Gunsenin. "Byzantine Shipwrecks Discovered around the Marmara Islands (Prokonnessos): Points of Departure and Probable Destinations"VIth International Symposium on Ship Construction in Antiquity, Tropis VI (Athens), (2001), p. 221-222.

Ctevrin 14:52, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

As a potter, I must ask...[edit]

How the heck would you THROW one of those things? Using a stick?


A: If you don't know how you would throw an amphora, then you must not be a very experienced potter.

Addendum: That wasn't an answer, that's just someone being ugly.

Pointed base[edit]

I frequently hear people ask about why amphorae have pointed bases. (I'm a teacher, and kids are curious.) This article explains that they were pointed so that they could stand up in soft sand or earth. But why is that better than a flat bottom? Is it technically harder to make a jar with a flat bottom? Was the ancient lifestyle such that most people had sand or soft earth in their storage rooms? I wonder if a knowledgeable contributor could add another sentence or two explaining this a bit further. I suspect I'm not the only person who has read this article and wondered about that. Thanks! –Taranah 01:15, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

I assume you mean transport amphorae, since most domestic amphorae did have feet (see Typology of Greek Vase Shapes). I've wondered about this myself, I believe examples have been found in graves and basements in Pompeii in exactly the half-buried upright position you describe. Why that shape? I doubt there's a definitive answer (as usual in archaeology), but consider this - shelves might not have been a universally available technology at the time. If a thing was to be carried from pottery, to vineyard, to port, to ship, to store it would have adapt to a variety of settings, and dirt floors and sand balast would be more likely than paved floors or stacking shelves. Twospoonfuls 12:47, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Could it perhaps have something to do with the structural stability of the clay, able to hold heavier goods without requiring more careful work in its construction which might raise the price of production? Either way, the question of its shape should be answered in the article if someone has a definitive answer.

I agree with the previous posts. I read this article with the only purpose to find an answer to this question and I found a partial answer only in the discussion page. --Dia^ (talk) 07:51, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Hmm ... One possible reason: the tapered bottom and foot allow you to use loose sand or soil as a packing material (to keep amphorae from smashing into each other in transit), without worrying that when you lift the amphora out of the sand, the bottom will break off. If transport amphorae had a broad flat bottom, the bottom might break away from the sides when the amphora is lifted, due to suction with the damp sand below. The depth of the foot could also protect the amphora when being carried; if the carriers accidentally knock it against something below, the very bottom of the foot might break off without leaking the contents. --70.36.212.169 (talk) 21:21, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

If you want to transport as many amphorae as possible in a limited space, you have to stack them. With pointed bases this is easier, the point of one amphora fits into the space of the three amphorae beneath. So I think the shape is just saving space and therefore economic. --93.194.114.62 (talk) 18:02, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

The sand and the stacking, this is all speculation. Needs some research. The current picture from Bodrum castle shows one possibility.Dave (talk) 10:44, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

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its great but somethings not[edit]

what was the use of it the use of it was the vase i cant belive that —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.244.234.227 (talk) 01:27, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Bot-generated content[edit]

A computerised algorithm has generated a version of this page using data obtained from AlgaeBase. You may be able to incorporate elements into the current article. Alternatively, it may be appropriate to create a new page at Amphora (alga). Anybot (contact operator) 16:41, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Articles are about different subjects, so I've moved it to Amphora (alga). —Snigbrook 21:31, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

The pop culture section is unnecessary[edit]

It's clutter. Instead, much more about amphorae needs to be added. Pictures would be nice. Anyone live near the Met and have a camera? Eventually, several more types should be depicted, for a really good article. Their role in art and reconstruction of culture and history needs to be mentioned as well. LeValley 08:24, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Plural form[edit]

I'd like to see a reference that states when the plural form "amphoras" became acceptable. Boneyard90 (talk) 01:41, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

You want a lot. Sounds like you might be trying to use us to do your research. I wasted a little time on it. Nada. The singular however goes all the way back to Middle English, where authors talk about the vase cleped amphora. This is of course a standard English produced plural, so anyone might use it at any time. I think your best bet is the Oxford unabridged. Luck.Dave (talk) 11:56, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

Some sites for the article[edit]

Production and classification[edit]

This article seems to have grown by tacking things on, resulting in a certain disunity. I noticed that the history section started using special terms, such as Dressel 1, etc. These matters are explained but not until the bottom. At the bottom, I noticed classification was under production. I don't see the connection and I think classification should be before history. So, I am making it so.Branigan 00:28, 2 October 2012 (UTC)