Item Details

A Newly-Identified Type of Late Antique Palestinian Amphora: Production, Evolution and Use of the Mediterranean Globular Amphora

Issue: Vol 32 No. 1 (2019)

Journal: Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology

Subject Areas: Ancient History Archaeology

DOI: 10.1558/jma.39326


This study discusses a new type of Late Antique (second half of seventh century ad) Palestinian commercial amphora. Archaeological finds from surveys and excavations, along with petrographic analysis, indicate that this amphora type was produced in and/or around the town of Yavneh, on the southern coastal plain of historical Palestine. The morphology of the Yavneh-type amphora is alien to local ceramic traditions but has strong affiliations with the contemporaneous Mediterranean and Black Sea globular amphorae group; nevertheless, it has no close parallels among the many types of Late Antique and early medieval globular amphorae known from regions outside Palestine. Furthermore, the distribution of this amphora is thus far confined only to the vicinity of Yavneh and to two Christian sites in northern Egypt. These and other data make it possible to suggest that the production of the Palestinian globular amphorae was short-lived, geographically restricted and marginal in terms of its role in the local economy, and that these amphorae might have carried Palestinian wine marketed to ecclesiastical communities in Egypt. Overall, the study of these amphorae contributes to knowledge about the local ceramic repertoire and international trade connections in the first decades after the coming of Islam.

Author: Itamar Taxel, Anat Cohen-Weinberger

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