Phoenician terracotta amphora, 900 B.C.

Amphorae are ceramic fusiform vessels with two handles and a narrow neck generally, although in some cultures they have developed into metal or other materials. They are usually finished with a point or even a long protruding tip that was used to nail them to the ground and keep them stable. Their precursors were the Greeks, although they soon spread throughout the Phoenician and Roman world, being used to transport liquids and food, as well as to be able to store them. Normally they could contain at least 25 to 30 litres, their form being variable depending on whether they were carrying wine, oil, salt, cereals or other food. The Phoenician civilization is chronologically situated between 1200 and 330 B.C., located in the narrow strip of the Mediterranean between Syria and Palestine. The Phoenicians maintained contacts with all the states and empires in their territorial environment, which is why it was a coveted place as a strategic and commercial enclave. Furthermore, its geographical position meant that it had an important maritime vocation.


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