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Amphorae
Archeology

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Abstracts of Articles


Istrian Roman amphorae

Abstract # 26254

Petrography and stamps of Istrian Roman amphorae reveal source material and ancient work-practices; Northern Adriatic Region, Croatia

MANGE, Maria Anna, Geology, Univ of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, mange@geology.ucdavis.edu and BEZECZKY, Tamas, Austrian Archaeological Institute, Frantz Klein Gasse, Vienna, A-1190, Austria.

The availability of good quality raw material, stone and clay, the principal inorganic materials used in construction and manufacturing in the ancient Roman world controlled the site and success of workshops. Ceramics, in particular amphorae, were the most widespread form of trade-packaging and their distribution can be traced as far as Scotland to the west and the Coromandel coast of India to the east. Geological techniques aid determination of their provenance, ancient technologies and their categorization. 

This work focuses on the northern Adriatic coast (Istrian region, Croatia) where the Laecanius senatorial family was influential politically and owned one of the largest pottery-workshops (late first century BC to 80 AD). Their amphorae attained a wide distribution, recognized by their characteristic morphology (Dressel 6B) and stamps (Bezeczky 1998). The Laecanius workshop produced around 1 million amphorae during its 80-100 years existence but, during that time, another 30-40 workshops existed in the region. Such a high output indicates that suitable source material was available locally. Thin section, heavy mineral and XRD analyses identify the source of raw material used. Two heavy mineral suites are recognized: a volcanic and a moderately stable one with Alpine affinities. Bauxite is rejected as a clay source, because no bauxite-specific minerals or anatase, common in Istrian bauxites, were found in the ceramics. 

Terra Rossa, widespread in the region, commonly mixed with loess of River Po (Alpine) provenance and with volcanic grains from Italian eruptions, have similar suites to those found in the ceramics (Durn et al. 1999) suggesting the most likely source. Many fragments contain contemporary marine microfauna, indicating that mud from the seafloor was dredged to use as a temper. Heavy minerals assist in the categorization and grouping of related amphorae, which also show a temporal change in composition, reflecting the use of material from differing sources with time.

Session No. 125
Archaeological Geology
Hynes Convention Center: 200
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Wednesday, November 7, 2001

Source:

  • http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2001AM/finalprogram/abstract_26254.htm


Petrography and Stamps of Istrian Roman Amphorae Reveal Source Material and Ancient Work-Practices
Northern Adriatic Region, Croatia

Paper No. 125-0

MANGE, Maria Anna, Geology, Univ of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, mange@geology.ucdavis.edu and BEZECZKY, Tamas, Austrian Archaeological Institute, Frantz Klein Gasse, Vienna, A-1190, Austria

The availability of good quality raw material, stone and clay, the principal inorganic materials used in construction and manufacturing in the ancient Roman world controlled the site and success of workshops. Ceramics, in particular amphorae, were the most widespread form of trade-packaging and their distribution can be traced as far as Scotland to the west and the Coromandel coast of India to the east. Geological techniques aid determination of their provenance, ancient technologies and their categorization. This work focuses on the northern Adriatic coast (Istrian region, Croatia) where the Laecanius senatorial family was influential politically and owned one of the largest pottery-workshops (late first century BC to 80 AD). Their amphorae attained a wide distribution, recognized by their characteristic morphology (Dressel 6B) and stamps (Bezeczky 1998). The Laecanius workshop produced around 1 million amphorae during its 80-100 years existence but, during that time, another 30-40 workshops existed in the region. Such a high output indicates that suitable source material was available locally. Thin section, heavy mineral and XRD analyses identify the source of raw material used. Two heavy mineral suites are recognized: a volcanic and a moderately stable one with Alpine affinities. Bauxite is rejected as a clay source, because no bauxite-specific minerals or anatase, common in Istrian bauxites, were found in the ceramics. Terra Rossa, widespread in the region, commonly mixed with loess of River Po (Alpine) provenance and with volcanic grains from Italian eruptions, have similar suites to those found in the ceramics (Durn et al. 1999) suggesting the most likely source. Many fragments contain contemporary marine microfauna, indicating that mud from the seafloor was dredged to use as a temper. Heavy minerals assist in the categorization and grouping of related amphorae, which also show a temporal change in composition, reflecting the use of material from differing sources with time.

Source:

  • http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2001AM/finalprogram/abstract_26254.htm

Di Pola e di Parentivm: Le anfore

1. Il progetto

Lo studio delle fonti epigrafiche del territorio della colonia Iulia Pola, in atto da alcuni anni, rientra nel progetto che mira alla riedizione delle Inscriptiones Italiae e comprende sia le iscrizioni su pietra, sia le scritte sul c. d. instrumentum domesticum e, in particolare, sulle anfore.

2. Anfore bollate del Museo di Pola

Lo studio dei bolli e dei graffiti presenti sulle anfore conservate nei magazzini del Museo Archeologico dell'Istria ha imposto, quale fase preliminare della ricerca, il censimento e la classificazione delle anfore. Ultimata la schedatura e lo studio delle anfore con la catalogazione di ben 869 esemplari rinvenuti prima del 1995, si Ë quindi proceduto alla correzione di alcune interpretazioni e all'integrazione degli indici dei bolli sulla base dei nuovi ritrovamenti.

Con la pubblicazione delle anfore rinvenute prima del 1995 si è conclusa la prima parte dello studio dedicato agli esemplari conservati nel Museo Archeologico dell'Istria, studio che comprenderà nell'immediato futuro la catalogazione e l'analisi delle anfore riportate alla luce dopo tale data.

3. I bolli anforari della figlina di Loron

A Loron (nel territorio di Parentium), proprietà del console del 16 d. C. Sisenna Statilius Taurus e poi di Calvia Crispinilla, una famigerata amica dell'imperatore Nerone, sono stati rinvenuti anche dei bolli di alcuni produttori che, al momento, non possono essere identificati con certezza. CiÚ che invece la documentazione ci consente di asserire con ragionevole certezza riguarda il trasferimento della proprietà della figlina di Loron dall'imprenditoria privata agli imperatori: i contenitori, pertinenti esclusivamente alla forma Dressel 6B, rinvenuti in gran quantità a Loron recano infatti dei bolli che riportano i nomi di tutti gli imperatori da Vespasiano ad Adriano. Tra gli ultimi produttori di questo tipo di anfore va ricordato M. Aurelius Iustus, verosimilmente un liberto imperiale della fine del II secolo o dell'inizio del III secolo d. C. In base alla serie, cronologicamente ben determinata, dei bolli imperiali, Ë stato inoltre possibile seguire la linea evolutiva delle Dressel 6B dal punto di vista morfologico.

Conclusioni

Grazie a questo lavoro possiamo delineare oggi in modo abbastanza preciso e piuttosto circostanziato il quadro relativo allo sviluppo e alla diffusione delle anfore del tipo Dressel 6B, fabbricate in Istria agli inizi del I secolo d. C. nella figlina di Fasana (Fazana), attribuibile al console suffetto del 40 d. C., C. Lecanius Bassus, e in quella di Loron presso Cervera (Crvar).

La concentrazione a Fasana e a Loron delle anfore del tipo "a fondo piatto" consente inoltre di ipotizzare che la produzione di queste anfore vinarie continuasse, nell'Istria del II secolo d. C., la produzione di contenitori oleari del tipo Dressel 6B. Non Ë stata invece confermata dai dati a nostra disposizione l'ipotesi, accolta da molti studiosi, che nella figlina di Laecanius Bassus a Fasana fossero fabbricate anche le anfore del tipo Dressel 2-4.

Alka Starac

Tratto da:

  • INSTRVMENTVM DOMESTICVM,  DI POLA E DI PARENTIVM: LE ANFORE - http://utsweb.univ.trieste.it:80/~epilab/notep97/not97/epi/iinstrp.html


Wine Amphorae and Wine Serving Vessels from the Croatian Coast of the Adriatic Sea

Abstract

The treatise deals with the great transports of wine amphorae made evident during the underwater investigations as well as with various wine serving and drinking vessels imported to a great extent to Liburnia in the last few centuries BC and in the first few centuries AD. A special emphasis is laid on the luxury pottery with relief decoration used by the autochthonous population during funeral rites and other ceremonies. The tradition of import of luxury wine vessels after the Hellenistic coloured vessels continues with the import of relief pottery from Adriatic workshop centres, then the Arretine and Northern Italian sigillate as well as vitrified vessels from various other workshop centres and numerous Eastern Mediterranean relief pottery, particularly from Knidus centres.


Anfore per il vino e vasellame per servirlo della dosta croata dell'Adriatico

Zdenko BRUSIĆ
Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia, HR-23000 Zadar, Obala Kralja Krešimira IV. 2

Rassunto

All'epoca dell'ellenismo e dei primi secoli dell'antichità, l'uso del vino presso popoli quali gli Histri, i Giapidi, i Liburni, i Delmati ed altri è già molto esteso, sia che si limitino a produrlo dalla vite silvestre o che lo acquistino tramite gli empori greci e romani. Da sottolineare in particolar modo che lungo la costa orientale dell'Adriatico correva un'antica via di navigazione che collegava il Mediterraneo orientale all'Europa centrale. Le popolazioni autoctone delle zone litoranee cominciarono pertanto molto presto a scambiare i propri prodotti e ad acquistare generi di lusso nei vari centri del Mediterraneo. Su questa rotta marittima sono stati trovati numerosi resti di carichi e attrezzature di navi elleniche e romane naufragate. Fra i resti di carichi rinvenuti nei numerosi siti archeologici sottomarini predominano le anfore da vino (greco-italiche dei tipi Lamboglia 2, Dressel 6A e 2-4). I frequenti ritrovamenti negli abitati della Liburnia di frammenti di queste anfore risalenti al periodo dal II secolo a.C. al II secolo d.C. stanno a testimoniare che anche i Liburni usarono acquistare il vino nelle aree più vinifere del Mediterraneo. In Liburnia inoltre si hanno tracce evidenti di importazione di lussuoso vasellame con decorazioni in rilievo usato per servire, mescolare e bere il vino. A questo riguardo interessante soprattutto il naufragio presso l'isola di Zlarin sul cui luogo sono state ritrovate non solo anfore da vino ma anche vasellame per vino destinato alla vendita. Nelle grandi tombe ellenistiche delle necropoli della popolazione locale dei Liburni scoperte testimonianze dell'uso di crateri ellenistici, decorati a rilievo, e di coppe megariche già nel II e I secolo a.C. Anche più tardi, quando dopo l'instaurazione dell'Impero romano predomina il rito dell'incenerimento, si può notare che i Liburni usino lussuoso vasellame con decorazioni in rilievo che viene frantumato durante i riti funerari: in occasione della cremazione si beve vino e si rompono i vasi posandone i frammenti nella tomba. Oltre alle già citate ceramiche ellenistiche con decorazioni in rilievo, in riti del genere viene usata anche terra sigillata aretina e norditalica. In Liburnia, l'importazione di vasellame per vino con decorazioni in rilievo avverrà anche in seguito, come testimoniato dalla comparsa in quei luoghi di lussuose ceramiche smaltate e di vasellame proveniente dal Mediterraneo orientale, in primo luogo dalle officine di Cnido, quali le anofore, gli anforischi e recipienti zoomorfi. Compaiono altresě numerosi bicchieri con ornamentazione a rilievo di officine varie ed infine anche vasellame prodotto in laboratori nordafricani. Le citate conoscenze archeologiche sono avvalorate anche da testimonianze di scrittori dell'antichità che parlando delle popolazioni indigene non mancano di sottolineare la loro smoderatezza nel bere. Ma nonostante questo dato di fatto dobbiamo constatare che la vite ovvero la bevanda che se ne ricava, il vino, sono stati degli accompagnatori fissi della civiltà ed uno degli stimoli fondamentali della creatività dell'uomo. È dunque alle proprietà inebrianti del vino e di altre bevande che dobbiamo tutto quell'insieme di forme e di decorazioni di vasi che va dalle situle di bronzo degli Illiri subalpini ai numerosi vasi di ceramica, vetro e metalli preziosi usati per mescolare, servire e bere l'eccitante bevanda dionisiaca.

Source:

  • http://www.zrs-kp.si/Zaloznistvo/annales/Anali22/brusic_en.htm


Wine Measures and Taxes in Northwestern Istria During the Venetian Republic Period

Darko DAROVEC
Science and Research Centre of the Republic of Slovenia,
Koper, SI-6000 Koper, Garibaldijeva 18
e-mail: darovec@zrs-kp.si

Summary

The present contribution presents the north Istrian wine growing and trade through the perspective of the Venetian tax system, where the assessments from the sphere of metrics play a particularly important part, as only through definition of separate units of measures for wine can we get a fairly accurate picture of the former extent of production and trade with wine. Namely, measures used to change through time, which is perhaps best illustrated by “amphora”, a measure that in antiquity comprised about 25 litres; in the Venetian period it ranged, according to some records and statements, even between 518 and 685 litres which, however, was also conditioned by the tax system, the same as in respect of other wine measures, which were subject to various measure ratios in separate places. From this very fact it follows that at least from the 14th century onwards the towns of Koper, Izola and Piran functioned as a uniquely adjusted economic-administrative unit in the sphere of units of measure.

For each amphora of wine exported to Venice, the 14th century Istrians were liable to pay about 2 ducats (1 ducat at that time = 3.1 liras = 62 solidi) in tax, and from 1383 additional 30 solidi. On the basis of the record from 1313 that the tax on 1 urn of wine exported to Friuli was 8 solidi, with the average price of 1 urn of wine varying between 20 and 30 solidi, we can infer that the tax on sold wine totalled from 20 to 30% or that in view of the amount of tax the ratio between amphora and urn (approx. 65 litres) was 1 to 8 in the 14th century northern Istra. Herkov (1985, 471-475) states a number of records as to how many smaller units or litres 1 amphora was supposed to comprise. In the 16th century, two different amphorae were in use, one for the wholesale and one for the retail of wine. The first was supposed to hold about 685 litres and the latter some 600 litres of wine, which was relative mainly to the tax system and the amount of tax. In the last quarter of the 18th century, 1 amphora measured 600 litres according to the official records, where 1 amphora comprised 56 Venetian secchios (about 10.7 litres); 1 secchio was divided into 4.125 bozzas, while the Venetian urn comprised 6 secchios (around 65 litres). The secchio, however, was similar as the amphora one of the major tax units of measure that in view of the type of tax clearly varied from place to place a great deal in their size.

For a more integral picture concerning the production and trade with wine in northwestern Istra during the Venetian Republic period, which was certainly the most profitable area in the sphere of wine growing and trade in the former Venetian Istra, the complexity regarding smuggling of these goods is also dealt with in the treatise, for the fact is that due to the fairly restrictive Venetian tax policy wine smuggling surpassed the “legal” trade, particularly to Carniola and Friuli, even by as much as twice.


Il vino: Misure di capacitÓ e tasse nell'Istria nord-occidentale al tempo deall repubblica di Venezia

Sintesi

Il contributo illustra il consumo ed il commercio del vino, visto attraverso l'attività vitivinicola nord-istriana ed il sistema fiscale veneziano, con particolare riferimento alle misure di capacità. Solo determinando le varie misure di capacità, si riesce ad avere un quadro abbastanza veritiero sulle dimensioni della produzione e del commercio del vino. Le unità di misura, infatti, cambiavano col tempo, come dimostra in maniera eclatante il caso dell'anfora, che nell'antichità corrispondeva a circa 25 litri, mentre nel periodo veneziano, secondo alcuni dati, oscillava addirittura tra i 518 ed i 685 litri. Ciò dipendeva anche dal sistema fiscale, com'era il caso di altre unità di misura, impiegate sempre per il vino, diffuse nelle varie località. Se ne deduce che Capodistria, Isola e Pirano, per lo meno dal XIV secolo in poi, operavano come una sola unità economico-amministrativa, anche nel campo delle misure di capacità.

Source:

  • http://www.zrs-kp.si/Zaloznistvo/annales/Anali22/darovec_it.htm

Wine, Beer, Barrels, Vats, Wineskins... (Some Roman Fragments from the Slovene Interior)

Iva MIKL CURK
SI-1000 Ljubljana, Cimpermanova 5

Summary

It may be surmised that in the interior of Slovenia the fermented fruit drinks, including wine, had been known prior to the arrival of the Romans. This could be proved by the otherwise rare use of the corresponding Greek jug. Significant evidence may also be an amphora in Grave 30 from Verdun in the tradition of a small anchored graveyard. The amphora, which was used as grave goods (not as an urn!), could replace the role of the large jug of drink, very often used in this region during the Iron Age. The belief that in the Iron Age the large jug indeed contained a drink has been proved by the little cup or goblet very often found in it. The fact that in the burial cult the amphora replaced the large prehistoric jug with drink seems to the author of this article a possible proof that the drink in the burial cult was comparable with wine already during the transition to the Roman times. There is, however, no evidence of production of wine or vessels from organic material in the early period.

After the Roman occupation, import of the Mediterranean wine increased a great deal, of which speak the numerous amphorae. The extent of import could also mean a certain stagnation in domestic production of wine.

The observation, however, that a double drinking-set is very often present in up to the 3rd century graves particularly in Central Slovenia, led to the conclusion that these sets did not contain the same drink. The set for ladling out drinks from a larger vessel was perhaps intended mainly for libatio, while the set for pouring drinks from the single-handled bottle-like jug or lagoena was meant as part of the actual grave goods. It would also be possible that the ladling out set, i.e. the older and more traditional set, contained some domestic, traditionally made drink (for we are dealing with the regions where vine does not prosper even today), while the set with the Mediterranean single-handled jug (or two jugs) and cup was intended for wine (and water). If the supposition about the two types of drink is correct, we should think about a permanent production of some (fermented?) drink in an old way also in Roman times. It is interesting, however, that the area of Ptuj (Poetovio), which was certainly well disposed to vine production, does not know this duality in the burial cult. It knows especially the single-handled jug - lagoena. And this could be a proof that vineyards were soon laid out in suitable places of the interior as well.

Particularly in the regions that have remained viniferous up to the present day, the number of to us known single-handled jugs was not reduced in the 2nd century after Domitian's ban on breeding grafted plants in the provinces. But there was a certain decline in the use of amphorae. Here it should be underlined that Domitian's ban was most probably not strictly respected and that it was understood only regarding vines of the vintage (Mediterranean?) varieties. But we do have to infer that for the regional production and keeping, vessels made of organic materials that leave no archaeological traces (or only exceptionally) were also used. About the existence of vats and barrels also speak, apart from the iron tools that in the early Roman times enabled production of staves, some exceptional finds. At Ptuj, a barrel (vat or tub) was found at least once in undoubtedly Roman well. Irrespective of the actual circumstances, this find confirms that the wooden vessel that can be very useful in winery was indeed known at that time. About the barrels also speak, on the other hand, undisputedly one but most probably two metal taps from Ptuj for the types characteristic of the Danubian and Rhenish Roman frontiers presented by J. Garbsch. There is of course no proof that this actual vessel was made in our territory, for the find gives evidence only of the fact that the wooden vessel was known there.

It has happened only exceptionally that separate rooms in a building were identified as wine cellars or at least depositories. The traces of deepened cellars are barely known and have been, on top of it all, also incorrectly or unreliably interpreted: the supposed "cellar" discovered during the 1963 excavations at Ptuj were gradually understood, with the aid of further finds, as traces of an eventually removed cloaca (sewer). The explanations by K. Tragau from 1907 and 1908 that in one of the Poetovian ground plans they were in fact dealing with a tavern and its depository and, in the other, with a true wine cellar with a press and fermentation room can unfortunately no longer be checked, as interesting and possible they may be. The authoress of this article has no knowledge about similar data from other sites in the Slovene interior.


Vino, birra, botti, mastelli, otri... (Frammenti d'epoca romana dell'interno della Slovenia)

Sintesi

L'autrice, sulla base di reperti, soprattutto in ceramica, provenienti da tombe e abitati, analizza le consuetudini relative al consumo di bevande nella Slovenia centrale e orientale al tempo dell'antica Roma. Fa notare, a tale proposito, la differenza fra le abitudini della popolazione locale e quelle assunte con la romanizzazione. Oltre al consumo di vino, prende in esame anche quello di altre bevande fermentate. L'importanza del vino è sottolineata anche dal ritrovamento di un'anfora nella tomba numero 30 di Verdun, nella Bassa Carniola o Dolenjska. Oltre alle anfore e alle stoviglie più comuni, sono qui esaminati anche altri recipienti, come mastelli ed otri. Separatamente sono invece presentati, anche con ausilio iconografico, i sùupposti resti di una cantina vinicola di Ptuj (schizzi di K. Tragau).

Source:

  • http://www.zrs-kp.si/Zaloznistvo/annales/Anali22/mikl_en.htm


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