Amphorae of Roman Time from Excavations at Settlement on Berezan Island (in Collection of Odesa Archaeological Museum of NAS of Ukraine)

Keywords: transport amphorae, Roman time, settlement, Berezan island, trade relations


The author presents the finds of amphorae of the Roman time, which were found on the island of Berezan. Materials that are introduced into scientific circulation are stored in the depositaries of the Odesa Archaeological Museum of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. They are mainly represented by fragments of amphorae, which were found as a result of the work of archaeological expeditions headed by M.F. Boltenko (1927, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1946) and V.V. Lapin (1960, 1961) at Berezan settlement. Some of the finds also came from the island of Berezan, but the year and place of their finding are unknown.

A comprehensive study of amphorae fragments gives the opportunity to reconstruct the trade relations of the settlement, which was located on the island of Berezan in the first centuries AD. Products in transport amphorae appeared on the island in the early Roman time. Thus, in amphorae of type Vnukov S І, dating no later than the first third of the 2nd century AD, Heraclean wine, made according to Coan recipe, was imported. Subsequently, the products of Heraclea Pontica sporadically came in amphorae of variant Vnukov S IVC.

The peak of trade activity of the settlement was attained in the end of the 2nd – the middle of the 3rd century AD. The range of products imported in transport wares during that period was rather wide. Heraclean wine was imported in large quantities (in amphorae of variant Vnukov S IVD) as opposed to much lesser quantities of the Aegean wine (in vessels of type Kapitän II) and Cilicia wine (in amphora of type Agora G 199). Probably, there was wine in amphora of type Zeest 72 or Zeest 73, which came to the island from an unidentified production site.

Bosporus ‘salsamentum’, which had been very popular among the inhabitants of Berezan settlement since the end of the 2nd century AD was transported in amphorae of type Zeest 75 (variants A, C, D), and from the beginning of the 3rd century AD, also in a rather rare container of type Krapivina 27 (variants ‘a’ and ‘b’). Salted fish was also imported from the non-localized center in vessels of variant Zeest 75B. In addition, a small amount of purchased olive oil was imported in amphorae of type Zeest 80 from several production sites located in the Aegean and the Black Sea regions. Single items represent variants of amphorae that cannot be correlated with already known types.

In Berezan collection of the Odesa Archaeological Museum of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, no ceramic containers were found, which could be dated only later than 264. However, vessels of types Zeest 72 and Kapitän II could come to Berezan in the 4th century AD.


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How to Cite
Masyuta, D. (2021). Amphorae of Roman Time from Excavations at Settlement on Berezan Island (in Collection of Odesa Archaeological Museum of NAS of Ukraine). Eminak: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (3(35), 84-103.