- Turkish -  

     

- AN AMPHORA TOO 12 QUESTIONS -

 
 
1) What is the origin of the word "amphora"?

The word amphora in old ages was formed with the union of the words amphi (meaning opposite to each other) and phoros ( portable). And the symbol of an amphora was come across in the alphabet of Miken Linear B for the first time.

2) Why are the bottoms of amphoras pointed?

As the commercial amphoras are small containers that carry oversea exportation goods, their transportations are also carried out by ships. Therefore, the aim is to fill the ship with amphoras(goods) in maximum number by keeping minimum volume. And the pointed bottoms provide the advantage of stacking neatly and they keep less place, and by squeezing each other, the reduce the risk of crashing and breaking each other to the least. Besides, pointed bottoms serve as a second or third handfold in emptying.

3) Which amphora is the oldest one in the world?

The amphora known as the oldest one in the world is Troy amphora belonging to -3000 B.C. These amphoras were found in Troy excavations. And it is possible to see them in the Troy halls of Ystanbul Archeology Museum.

4) What were carried in these amphoras?

Everything that could be got into them as olive oil ans wine stand first in the list,were being carried by these amphoras. pectin, honey, vinegar, grape, fig, fish and fish sossages, cereals, resin etc.

5) Does each amphora's shape tell us anything?

Yes, the shape of every amphora tells us something. What does it tell? It tells the history and geographical region of it, the nation it belongs to and the quality of the good it was carrying within. Beacuse, the forms and volumes of the amphoras are generally trademarks of the exporter country or the trader. That's why an amphora master can not produce it as he wants it to be when he is in front of the machinery. Also, these are determined by the economic international contracts in antiquity just like in our day by Customs Union and European Union. ( such as Attika-delos contract)

6) How can one understand the date of an amphora?

The shape of an amphora makes a reference to the civilization it belongs to. The history and the age of an ampora can also be determined in this way. And the age of them can exactly be determined by applying C-14 on amphoras especially whose origins are unknown or suspected.

7) Can we find the trade ways of old ages by amphoras?

Yes, we can, we can find which goods were carried to which places, from where and what were taken in return for them, and we can find also the density of these commercial activities in seas. This gives us the charts and routes of the sea trade ways in antiquity.

8) Did Turks produce amphoras?

No, they did not. Producing amphoras was in its last periods and they were only being produced in Ganos, Marmara island and in many other production centers. Because, amphoras were replaced by the production of barrels in those times. As you know, the need of amphoras was special to mariner nations that produce and sell these productions to oversea countries. Unfortunately, Turkish people did not give the necessary importance to sea trading.

9) When were the amphoras being produced most?

After the Troy amphora that did not enter the commercial movement that much, in Mysyr in 1500 B.C, arcahic period in 5th and 7th B.C centuries , the classical period in third and fifth centuries, the Helenistic, Roman and Byzantium periods were when the amphoras were produced most and with the goods within showed themselves off in international markets,

10) What do the symbols and sealings on the amphoras tell us?

The symbols of the amphoras determine the nation that amphora belongs to and the name or the logo of the producer or the trader. These saelings also provide legal facilities within the taxation procedures in the customs doors of those times.

11) Is Turkey rich for amphoras?
Yes, it is. It is even the richest country in the world when considering amphoras. Because, right along with Anatolia’ being the first fertile mother of the civilization, it is also the homeland of many nations as it serves as a natural bridge between two continents. Thus, the amphoras produced in Anatolia and brought to Anatolia having been produced abroad have reached us in a way from the ships sunk in these coasts and seas.

12) Why dont divers take the amphoras out of seas?

They do not, because firstly it is not legal,namely prohibited. And second, it is not moral as any amphora that the diver takes out may be the last sign that shows the submerge’s trace there. Thus, the amphora taken out of the sea eternally terminates the chance to find that submerge and also it can not be represented in the scientific world anymore. That’s why conscious divers never take the amphoras out of the seas, and if they come across such a thing, they report the situation to the closest museum.
     
     
     
     
     
     
   

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