Roman storage vessels (amphorae)
Wine, olive oil and other foodstuffs produced in Mediterranean countries were stored and transported in amphorae. After the removal of their contents, some amphorae were re-used as cremation urns, others as urinals. Because of earlier trade links, wine amphorae (Dressel 1) were occasionally imported into Britain before the Roman conquest of AD43.
Many amphorae stood nearly 1m tall and weighed over 50kg when full. The largest, globular, amphorae contained over 77 litres (17 gallons) of olive oil and weighed around 100kg. Most amphorae had a pair of handles and a pointed base to act as a shock absorber and prevent the contents leaking. The spike could also be pushed into the ground or placed in a rack.
Olive oil amphorae (Dressel 20) were often stamped with the name of the owner of the estate that produced the oil. Many amphorae were marked in ink with details of their contents and destination, but these marks seldom survive.
Londinium depended heavily on imports of fish sauce, olive oil and wine, and so the Museum's amphora collection is large. Most amphorae found in London date between AD70 and 200.
|Globular olive oil amphorae (-100 - 410)|
|Dressel 1 and 'Koan' wine amphorae (-100 - 410)|
|'Rhodian' wine amphorae (-100 - 410)|
|Spanish fish sauce amphorae (-100 - 410)|
|'Gaulish' wine amphorae (-100 - 410)|
|'Carrot' amphorae (-100 - 410)|
Related objectsThere are 126 related objects.
12977 amphora; miniature amphora.
3015 amphora; miniature amphora.
3014 amphora; miniature amphora.