- CHIOS (KHIOS) ISLAND AMPHORAS -

 
 
Do you know what is most enchanting for a collectioner? Let me tell you as a 'collectioner suffering from that.' The most enchanting,the most stimulating is what you do not have, what does not belong to you.
Be sure that there is not a slight difference between an innocent collector and Don Juan. Both of them feel the same desire,sensation; both of them experience the same enthusiasm of touching, knowing and having, (I hope my wife does not read that issue.) and both of them are greedy and crazy.
Now you may ask me if there is not a 'special one' among hundreds of amphoras in my collection.Of course there is. This is the point I want to arrive at since the begining.There is one amphora among them that I still adore as I have done since the begining.What Hčrrem Sultan was for Sultan Suleyman among his hundreds of concubines,
this amphora is the same for me. (I will exactly hide this issue from my wife.)
Khios island is on the opposite side of Izmir-Cesme. It is quite close to Turkey.
     


4th century B.C. Amphora of Khios

  With the Pasas Island on its northeast, it is 904 squarekilometres. It is one of the places Homeros once lived. The island was an important Ionic site and city during the ancient age. It was famous with a special kind of gum made of resin and with its slave bazaars.
In 546BC., the island was under Persian dominion. 50-60 years later, with the Ionic rebellion,it was joined to Attika-Delos union.
During the history, the island has been famous for its mastic amphoras and mastic wines. As opposed to all islanders who were conservative about amphora forms,the Chios island amphoras are famous with various different types.
In his book 'Amphoras In The Ancient Ages' (1990-p.82-83), Mr. Ersin Doger gives the following information about the island:
"Khios island is known as the most reliable wine producer of the ancient age.
As to the legends, the vineyard and wine culture of the island arises from Oinopion,who was the son of vineyard and wine God, Dionyss.
Comedy writer Hermippos defines the quality of the island wines as unattainable. It is also said that the black wine was first produced here.
The importance of vineyards and wine production in island's economy can be understood from the amphora pictures on their coins.
     

From 7BC. to 2-3AC.,during 1000 years,the commercial amphoras of the Khios island could be recognized easily in bazaars and those amphoras were spread out to a very large area from Morocco to the Black sea coasts.
Inside of some of those amphoras, there are remains resin.
The rareness of those amphoras when compared with Rhodes and Knidos amphoras,proves us that the wine produced on this island was very expensive and luxurious.
That's why, Khinos wine was also sold in single handled small bottles called "Laginos" for more people to be able to buy. Official seals of Khios can be seen on these bottles.

Now it is time to have a look at the Khios amphoras in my collection.

Photo 1: Amphoras producet between 7/6 BC

 


Photo 1
The Collection of Mustafa Aydemir

     


Photo 2
The Collection of Mustafa Aydemir

  Photo 2: This photo belongs to Type-2 amphoras produced between 550-500 BC. and Type-3 A amphoras produced between 530-490 BC.
To get Type-1 kind of amphoras, the bodies of Type-2 amphoras were painted to horizental circles.
Towards the neck of those amphoras, reverse 'S' design was used.In Type-2, although the egg-shaped form was kept,
the neck part became a bit more swollen. Those amphoras were produced during 50 years.
The mouth in those amphoras were not circle, but elliptical.
     
Photo 3: The amphoras in this picture belong to Type-38 kind of amphoras produced between 500-450 BC., and
Type-3 C kind of amphoras produced between 450-430 BC.
Those type of amphoras had 3 different variations.
Although the form was the same,the neck part became swollen, the mouth became completely elliptical.
 


Photo 3
The Collection of Mustafa Aydemir

 

 

 


Photo 4
The Collection of Mustafa Aydemir

  Photo 4: These are classified as Type-4 kind of amphoras. They were produced between 430-400 BC.
Except for the upper part, they were the same as Type-3 kind of amphoras.
On the upper part, there was completely a different style.
These amphoras were similar to Black Sea Heraklia amphoras of 4 BC.
In those types, the shoulder part was widened and the body was more triangled towards the bottom.
The neck and the handles were lenghtened.
     
Photo 5: These are two different Khios amphora types. They are completely different.
I always believe that a distinguished sculptor lived in the ancient age intervened this amphora forms.
Such a pure, beautiful and functional form has always mesmerized me.

164-310 numbered amphoras were produced in the first half of 4 BC.
We call them Type-5 A. The neck and the handles were long, mouth was a bit elliptical.
285 numbered amphora (Type 5B), belongs to the second half of 4 BC.
 


Photo 5
The Collection of Mustafa Aydemir

     
The neck and the body were a bit lenghtened, bottom part was triangled and the mouth was completely circle. In Type-6 kind of amphoras(1 BC), the triangle hape was left. The Khios amphoras were produced with a big skill using high temperature techniques.That is why they are still sound today.
     
     
     
     
     
     
   

- Top of the page -