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RP1601

A large Roman Shipwrecked Transport Amphora, ca. 1st - 2nd century A.D.

with an ovoid body and long pointed base, the shoulders carinated, the double-thick vertical handles arching slightly from the base of the wide conical neck to just below the thick rim, heavy marine encrustation from long-term saltwater submergence. 

This amphora would have carried wine overseas, distributing it to all areas of the empire. It was shipwrecked before arriving at its final destination and eventually pulled from the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. This amphora can be classified as a “Dressel 2-4,” or a “Koan” Amphora, based upon Amphora Types According to Dressel. The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology describes Koan amphorae as having appeared towards the end of the first century B.C. Furthermore, these amphorae were copies of the Greek prototypes from the island of Cos in the Aegean. The evident change in this amphora form was probably due to changes in drinking habits. According to Plinius, these were medicinal wines mixed with seawater, and therefore many Italians did not prefer the wine from that area. The Dressel 2-4 (Koan) amphorae were also manufactured outside Italy and Catalonia at Velax. A discerning trait of this type is the double-shafted handle on either side.  

Dimensions:  Height:  32.5" (82.5 cm) 

Condition:  the amphora is intact with marine encrustation particularly to the upper body, and is in excellent condition overall.   With custom mount.

Provenance:  private South Carolina collection,  recovered in the Mediterranean from a dive boat in 1967.

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