Type 27 Amphorae from Tyras According to V.V. Krapivina’s Classification

Keywords: amphora containers, morphology, chronology, Late Roman time, Tyras


Over the past two decades, as a result of systematic archaeological research of Tyras, there has been accumulated impressive material that makes it possible to supplement the composition of its ceramic complex with several types of amphora containers. The amphorae of type 27 according to V.V. Krapivina’s classification belong to one of the rarest types.

These vessels are characterized by small size, wide, high neck, egg-shaped body, profiled handles, toe in the form of the cylindrical tray. Based on morphological differences, the amphorae of the studied type can preliminary be divided into two variants (a and b). 27a includes larger vessels with beak-shaped rims, and to 27b belong small items with rolled rims.

During the archaeological excavations of Tyras, amphorae of both variants were found, originating from archaeological contexts with a wide dating. Variant 27a is represented by fragments of profile parts, and two fragmented vessels belong to variant 27b.

Area of distribution of type 27 amphorae according to V.V. Krapivina covered predominantly the Northern Black Sea region, to the markets of which they came throughout the 3rd century AD. One item was found in the western part of the Pontic region, while in the Southern and Eastern Black Sea regions, as well as in the Mediterranean, such vessels have not been found yet.

Findings of the considering type of ceramic vessels mainly originate from archaeological excavations of ancient cities.

Some amphorae of type 27 according to V.V. Krapivina could be produced in the neighborhood of Chersonesos, however, the main production volume was most likely produced on the territory of Bosporus. The color of their clay, as well as the visually distinct features of its composition, prove Bosporus origin of the vessels found in Tyras.

Analysis of the amphorae morphology of the type under consideration suggests that they were intended for transportation and storage of salted fish (salsamentum), the commodity production of which was set up in Chersonesus and Bosporus in Roman times.

Thus, throughout the 3rd century AD, two morphological variants of type 27 amphorae according to V.V. Krapivina were imported from the territory of Bosporus to Tyras. The product contained in them, apparently, salsamentum, was purchased by the population of the city and was not intended for resale to barbaric tribes. This is indirectly indicated by the absence of findings of the considering type of containers at the synchronous archaeological sites of the Lower Dniester region.

Probably, the studied amphorae came to Tyras directly, though the supplies from Olbia, as a result of intermediary trade operations, are not excluded.


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How to Cite
Masiuta, D. (2019). Type 27 Amphorae from Tyras According to V.V. Krapivina’s Classification. EMINAK: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (1(25), 138-148. https://doi.org/10.33782/eminak2019.1(25).215