- THE WEST MEDITERRENEAN AMPHORAS BEFORE CHRISTIAN ERA -

 
 
Around 1000 BC. When both the sun and the civilization rose from the east, the west Mediterrenean world was quite dark and uncivilizied. Around 9 B.C., the Phoenicians founded Carthage.
Fighting with the Etrusks and the Grek, the Carthagians got the control of Sicilian-Corsica and Iberian Peninsulas. In the research and classification made by J.M Mana in 1950, it is seen that the Carthagian amphoras have tube shaped long bodies, wide openings and two small handles at the top joining to the body. (P 1).
 

 
During the same period, as a result of diffusionist policy of the Grek, both the Grek and the Carthagian amphoras could be seen at the Sicilian and South Italian coasts. After a period, the Romans became the super power of the opposite coast and at BC. 3, a war started between those two kingdoms.
The Carthagians lost the war. Conquering Greece and the whole Mediterrenean from Spain to small Asia in BC.1, the Romans became the absolute power in those regions.
 

     
All those historical processes and periods effected the production and variation of the amphoras. The production of Greco-Italic amphoras effected by the Grek forms, started in those ages.
     
The amphora specialist H.Dressel classifies the Italian amphoras as Dressel I and Dressel II.
The first west Mediterrenean amphoras called Greco-Italic, were Grek and Eagean originated and produced in Italy, French, Spain and Sicily. In later periods (BC.3-2), the Roman amphoras started to gain their own characteristic features.
 
     

  The amphoras were now bigger and the openings were wider. The length and the neck parts of the amphoras were longer. The body got sharp pointed towards the bottom.

The handles got longer. In those years, olive and vine growing gained importance. Big land owners market their products with the amphoras.

The amphoras of the republic were bigger, heavier and more striking. The length of the neck was almost 1/3 of the whole length.
     
The moszt important feature seperating the Roman amphoras of the West Mediterrenean from all other amphoras was their shape. In BC.I, the amphoras produced at French coasts had flat bottoms. The same period Spanish amphoras had wide openings, sharp-pointed bottoms. The quality of workmanship was low, but the shapes were different and interesting.
     
 



 
     
 


Greko Italic

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
   

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