[Ansteorra] "Period Containers"

John Atkinson johnmatkinson at gmail.com
Sat Mar 29 04:30:33 PDT 2008

On Fri, Mar 28, 2008 at 6:56 PM, Stefan li Rous
<StefanliRous at austin.rr.com> wrote:
> On Mar 28, 2008, at 6:17 PM, Eadric Anstapa wrote:

>  Thank you. I was actually thinking of storage of wine at table and
>  such that could be conveniently resealed. But it is a good point that
>  amphora were used some past Classical times for transporting wine.
>  That site seems to give 6th century as the latest, and even then only
>  in the eastern Mediterranean. Not sure why the use of amphora seems
>  to have dropped off in the beginning of medieval times, unless it has
>  to do with the general demise of civilization and trade.

ODB says amphora are in usage at least through the 13th century and
have been found in 10th century sites in Cherson, Pliska, Tomis, and
Dinogetia, but in the 14th century begin to be replaced, possibly by
barrels (which do not survive).  They are used for everything from
large-scale shipping to household storage.

The Book of the Eparch (10th century) refers to kapeloi (wine
merchants) who sell in wine in three measures--stathmoi (30 litrai),
angeia, and minai.  The mina was 3 litrai.  A litra is a unit of
weight approx 320g, not sure precisely how that translates into a
liquid measure.

As for conveniently resealed, I doubt that is going to be an issue
given the way even modern Greeks put it away.

At any rate, the demise of the amphora in the West is undoubtedly
linked to the near-total collapse of sea trade on the Med in the 7th
century.  I can recommend a good book on the subject.

Ioannes Dalassenos
mka John M. Atkinson
"Thousands of Sarmatians, Thousands of Franks, we've slain them again
and again. We're looking for thousands of Persians."
--Vita Aureliani

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