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Amphora

Amphora
© BA Antiquities Museum/E.Omar

Registration Number(s)
BAAM Serial Bibliotheca Alexandrina Antiquities Museum Number 0854

Inv.Inventory
 E/V/21
Inv.Inventory
 (SCA) 81

where to find


showcase 12

Cretan Amphora

Category:
Containers and related objects, vessels, amphorae
Date:
Graeco-Roman Period, Roman Period, around the first cent. CE
Provenance:
Lower Egypt, Alexandria, Eastern Harbor
Material(s):
Man made material, pottery (terracotta)
Height:
46 cm;
Diameter:
12.8 cm
Hall:
Submerged Antiquities, showcase 12


 Description

Wine amphora with a narrow neck and curved handles from the upper part of the neck to the shoulder. It has a long cylindrical body that ends with a rounded base and a small basal wart. The paste is buff beige and it contains many mica particles. This type of amphorae has been assigned to several centers in Athens, Corinth, and Crete. In Crete, this type was produced in Knossos, Kastelli, and Keratokambos, and was widely distributed across the Eastern Mediterranean, Italy, North Africa, and Greece.

Crete

Crete is an island; a self-contained world marooned in a desert of salt water in the southern Aegean. In about the seventh millennium BCE, Crete had seen its earliest settlers and its forms of agriculture arrived from Asia Minor. However, the island was occupied by the Minoan civilization—named after its founder, King Minos, according to Greek mythology—in the Middle Bronze Age, from 2000 BCE to 1500 BCE. During the second half of the second millennium, Minoans were actively trading with Egypt, Thera, Rhodes, Cyprus, and the Cyclades, amongst others, exchanging cloth, timber, gold, silver, foodstuff, olive oil, and wine. Cretan amphorae were extensively used for the exported wine, mostly during the first to the third centuries CE.

According to Greek Mythology, Zeus was born by the Titans Cronus and Rhea. Cronus was notorious for being a very jealous and greedy deity. Out of fear that one of his children could take his throne, he decided to swallow all of them. Hence, Rhea hid the young Zeus in a cave on Crete.


The information given here is subject to modification/update as a result of ongoing research.

Bibliography
  • Ägyptens versunkene Schätze: 5. April 2007-27. Januar 2008, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn. Heidelberg: Vernissage, 2007, pp. 328, 426. 
  • Empereur, Jean-Yves, Markoulaki Stavroula et Marangou A. Antigone. Recherches sur Les Centres de Fabrication d'amphores de Crête Occidentale. S.I. : Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique. Volume 113, Livraison 2, 1989, pp. 551-580.
  • Foreman, Laura. Cleopatra’s Palace: Del Mar, Calif.: Discovery Books, 1999, p. 132-133.
  • Forster, Gary. Roman Knossos: The Pottery in Context, A Presentation of Ceramic Evidence Provided by The Knossos 2000 Project (1993-95). Birmingham: Institute Of Archaeology and Antiquity School of Historical Studies, the University of Birmingham, 2009. 
  • Goddio, Franck and Manfred Clauss, eds. Egypt’s Sunken Treasures. Photographs by Christoph Gerigk. London: Prestel, 2006, pp. 384-385, 454.
  • Goddio, Franck, and David Fabre. Trésors Engloutis d’Égypte. Photographs by Christoph Gerigk Paris: Seuil; Milan: 5 Continents, 2006, pp. 286, 312.
  • Hansen, William. Handbook of Classical Mythology. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2004.
  • Peacock, D.P.S. and D.F. Williams. Amphorae and Roman Economy.  London and New York: Longman Archaeology Series, 1986.
  • Roselyne De Ayala and Paule Braudel, eds. The Mediterranean in Ancient World. London: Penguin Books, 2001.
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