Friday, September 17, 2010

Antique Art Potteries

Beautiful floor mosaic with amphoras and,
wonderful large Amphora Park

can be found in one of the most important
Underwater Archaeology Museums in the world,
in Bodrum

Italian Amphora ~ 1st AD

Roman Amphoras ~ 3th AD

4th Cent AD

Manufacturing Amphoras

The clay for the manfacture of amphoras was made more resistant by adding mica, sand and lime. The mixture was then trampled to get rid of the air bubbles and left to rest it for a while. Amphoras (turkish: testi) were made on a patter's wheel. The amphora was then left to dry in a shady place before being fired at a temperature of 800 - 1000 degrees.

The ridges observed on the inside curves of the large amphoras show where the neck joins the shoulder and the base joins the body. The illustrates that an amphora is made in several parts.

The kilns were either rectangular, round or pear-shaped and 3-5 mm high. Most kilns had the capability of firing 80 to 100 amphoras at one time.

5th - 6th Cent AD

7th Cent BC

14th Cent BC

20th Cent Amphoras

With the added mystique of the Knights of St John who bui
lt the St Peter's Castle is housing the Museum. To me, it is the Bodrum's finest attraction. The Museum is housing the ancient Mediterranean life with the world's biggest Eastern Mediterranean Amphora Collection. The interesting murals can be seen here.

Men trying to find new forms for storing and transporting their
oil, wine, olives, wheat barley created these amphorae. According to the type of cargo, this amphorae had isolation with resin, wax or gum. They were produced especially at great trade or wine producing centres. So these were easily identifiable because of their shapes and forms.

Their forms with pointed ends enabled people to store hundreds of them together as well as carry those easily. People put straw, bushes to protect the ship hull and also prevent the breakage of those amphorae. Their mouths were shut with terra cotta or with quarks. The stamps on the hands of amphorae revealed us the names of manufacturers and the guaranty of the city. Knidians used bullhead, Coans used crab, Rhodians used rose as their symbols.

Besides the storage functioning, amphoras has been greatest help for archaeologoists to locate the site of ancient shipwrecks. Since the hull, wooden part if the ship disappeared, amphorae were only objects survived and became pointers for ancient ships. This feature also attracted attention of divers and sponge divers all these years. Many of these amphoras plundered or decorated the fish restaurants of the region.

Would love to hear your thoughts about amphoras if you have any.. :)

ps- my photos to enlarge please click on.


  1. Thank you for this bit of history. I always wondered why amphoras have a pointed bottom end, it seems so difficult to store. I see most of these sit in a hole in a board.


  2. Kıymetli Nihal hanım,testiler hakkında vermiş olduğunuz teknik ayrıntılar için teşekkür ederim,böyle güzel müzeler bize bu topraklardan hangi medeniyetlerin izler bırakarak gittiklerini ,o çağda ne gibi ürünlerin revaçta olduğunu çok güzel anlatıyor ve gözümüzün önüne seriyor,zahmetleriniz için şükranlarımı ve saygılarımı sunarım.Kolay gelsin.

  3. Nihal, I like this interesting article about amphoras in their various periods and shapes, and enjoy all the images. The floor mosaic with amphoras is so charming.
    Have a pleasant day :-)