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Daniele Malfitana · Jeroen Poblome · John Lund

Comitato scientifico:
S. E. Alcock (Brown University, R.I.) · P. M. Allison (University of Leicester) · D. Bernal
(Universidad de Cadiz) · M. Bonifay (Centre Camille Jullian - UMR 6573, CNRS) · R. Brulet
(Université Catholique de Louvain) · L. Chrzanovski (International Lychnological Associa-
tion) · F. D’Andria (Università di Lecce) · M. de Vos (Università di Trento) · K. Dunbabin
(McMaster University, Ontario) · M. Feugère (Equipe TPC - UMR 5140, CNRS) · I. Free-
stone (Cardiff University) · M. Fulford (University of Reading) · C. Gasparri (Università di
Napoli “Federico II”) · E. Giannichedda · F. Giudice (Università di Catania) · A. Hochuli-
Gysel (Fondation Pro Aventico, Avenches) · S. Ladstätter (Österreichische Akademie der
Wissenschaften) · M. Lawall (University of Manitoba) · M. Mackensen (Ludwig-
Maximilians-Universität, München) · D. Manacorda (Università di Roma Tre) · D. Mat-
tingly (University of Leicester) · M. Mazza (Università di Roma “La Sapienza”) · D.
Michaelides (University of Cyprus) · M. D. Nenna (Maison de l’Orient et de la Méditerra-
née, Lyon) · M. O’Hea (University of Adelaide) · E. Papi (Università di Siena) · D. P. S. Pea-
cock (University of Southampton) · N. Rauh (Purdue University) · P. Reynolds (University
of Barcelona) · G. Sanders (The American School of Classical Studies at Athens) · F. Slavazzi
(Università di Milano) · K. W. Slane (University of Missouri-Columbia) · N. Terrenato
(University of Michigan) · M. Torelli (Università di Perugia) · H. von Hessberg (Universität
zu Köln) · A. Wilson (University of Oxford) · D. Yntema (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Consulente di redazione per la grafica e la fotografia:

Giovanni Fragalà

«Facta» is a Peer Review Journal


edited by
daniele malfitana, jeroen poblome,
john lund

2 · 2008

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issn 1971-9051

Editorial Preface 11

Kristine Bøggild Johannsen, Campanareliefs im Kontext. Ein Beitrag zur Neu-

bewertung der Funktion und Bedeutung der Campanareliefs in römischen Villen 15
Eloisa Dodero, Il vetrocammeo nella prima età imperiale: una sintesi. Con breve
notizia di alcuni frammenti inediti del «Thorvaldsens Museum» di Copenhagen 39
Paul Reynolds, Linear typologies and ceramic evolution 61
Jean Bussière, Nouveaux outils de potiers africains d’époque romaine (iv e-vi e s.) 89
Ben Russell, The dynamics of stone transport between the Roman Mediterranean
and its hinterland 107
Daniele Malfitana et al., Roman Sicily Project («rsp »): Ceramics and Trade.
A multidisciplinary approach to the study of material culture assemblages. First
overview: the transport amphorae evidence 127
Jeroen Poblome, Sherds and coins from a place under the sun. Further thoughts
from Sagalassos 193

discussion section: the «rhosica vasa» quest

John Lund, Daniele Malfitana, Jeroen Poblome, «Rhosica vasa»: the quest
continues 217
Christian Høgel, Cicero on Atticus serving from «Rhosica vasa» 221
Luciana Romeri, Ateneo e il vasellame di Cleopatra (Ateneo, Deipn. vi 229 c1-d1) 225
Kevin Greene, «Rhosica vasa» as metalwork rather than earthenware: an inter-
pretation reinforced by philological analysis 231

review section
John Lund, New corpus of terracotta lamps from Algeria. A review of Jean Bus-
sière, Lampes antiques d’Algérie, and Lampes antiques d’Algérie ii : Lampes tar-
dives et lampes chrétiennes 235

Books received 239

Instructions to authors 241

Addresses of contributors 243

Paul Reynolds


T he study of Roman Mediterranean ceramics and, more significantly, the eco-

nomic histories we construct from them, is piece-meal at best. It has suffered from
our own geographical biases: some researchers have never ventured forth from their
local regions, others travel when they can and to a limited number of destinations,
cities, territories that once were active components of the Roman Empire. It may take
years, decades even, to find and identify particular regional table wares, amphora
forms and cooking pots. There are many gaps in our knowledge.1
In the second half of the 20th century, particularly from the 1970s onwards, there de-
veloped a more serious approach to the excavation and recording of the artefactual
record, particularly on urban sites, but this was largely limited to the western Mediter-
ranean. An appreciation of amphorae as a primary resource for the reconstruction of
the ancient economies and trade has developed apace. Entire congresses are devoted,
as they should be, to the detailed description of regional amphora types. Cooking and
kitchen ware studies have gained ground in the Mediterranean. The more widespread
use of archaeometry and thin-section analysis to determine the origins of products is
now fairly common, if not always applied correctly. Archaeometric analyses, costly
when done at the necessary scale, should not be ad hoc, but with a rigid research ob-
jective in tandem with typological observation and attention to detail.
John Hayes was the first to fully publish entire deposits of pottery from Mediter-
ranean sites, all classes of ceramics, with a new focus on regional amphorae and cook-
ing wares. He also provided us with the first comprehensive guide to mid and late Ro-
man fine table wares of the eastern and western halves of the Mediterranean.2 With
this new ceramic framework and chronology for the later Roman period we were able
to study the entire time-line of the Roman and late Antique Mediterranean for the
first time. He has since presented new typologies for the principal early Roman fine
wares of the eastern Mediterranean.3 Hayes was also innovative in his publication of
excavation material, publishing selected, but entire pottery assemblages in chrono-
logical order that provided a breakdown of the range of local and imported wares
through time.4
The excavations at Ostia and Carthage in the late 60s and 70s were watersheds in
the development of quantification in ceramic research. The Italians offered in their Os-
tia reports detailed, total publication of assemblages, as John Hayes had been being
doing, but provided additional quantification of trends in imports through time,

1 I am most grateful to Michel Bonifay and Richard Reece for reading and commenting on preliminary
drafts of this paper, I have tried to follow their good advice.
2 Hayes 1972. 3 Hayes 1985.
4 E.g. for Carthage, Paphos and Istanbul-Saraçhane: Hayes 1976, Hayes 1978, Hayes 1991 and Hayes
62 paul reynolds
though limited to specific, non-continuous periods.1 John Hayes and John Riley then
provided similar fully quantified deposits from the Canadian excavations in Carthage.2
Mike Fulford and David Peacock offered in 1984 a revolutionary, slim volume that
documented trends of production in roughly 25-year periods that spanned the late 4th
to early 7th centuries. Each form was classified according to its fabric, hence its source.
Its ‘life span’, from introduction, to floruit, and final demise, was plotted by calculat-
ing the relative percentage of the said form against others of the same class in a se-
quence of deposits selected for their stratigraphical integrity and value as chronolog-
ical indicator.3 Trends of supply of not only single forms, but also whole regional
classes, e.g. the Late Roman 1 amphora or local painted wares, were thus plotted and
economic trends non-subjectively documented and (more subjectively) interpreted.
This British work, as is usually the case with annual, even if long-term, projects
overseas was limited by the constraints of university teaching and other primary oc-
cupations of those involved to two to three month periods of activity. Another logis-
tical problem that faces us all working on Mediterranean, and in particular urban,
sites – the sheer volume-tonnage of pottery extracted during excavation – led to their
choice to concentrate on the bigger picture – trends in pottery production and com-
merce – with less attention to the publication (notably drawing) of entire assem-
blages. There was simply not the time to do both. In their subsequent volume on
Carthage, the British team produced a fuller publication that included complete, fully
illustrated assemblages.4
My recent work on the excavated deposits of Classical Beirut has underlined ma-
jor problems in the accepted approach to quantifying and reading Roman pottery in
the Mediterranean. The former paragraphs in part explain the sources of the prob-
lem and the consequences: the choice by pottery specialists working on Mediter-
ranean excavations to publish deposits of interest selectively, rather than to attempt
to catalogue (or at least ‘scan’) the entire ceramic record. This has led, I believe, to a
fragmentation of what are, in fact, in many cases, continuous strands of ceramic de-
velopment: ‘linear typologies’. There has been a tendency to label amphora forms or
‘variants’ as ‘Late Roman x’ or ‘Early Roman amphora y’, when they are in fact the
same amphora passing through decades and centuries of evolution. This in turn leads
us to question the parameters to use when determining a ‘form’, whether amphora
or cooking pot.

The Beirut excavations: some examples of linear typologies

The post-war excavations in the Beirut Central District were on an unprecedented
scale. Various Lebanese and foreign teams participated in the excavation of the
Bronze Age, Iron Age, Classical and Medieval city.
From 1994 the Anglo-Lebanese team investigated a large section of the Hellenistic
and Roman-Byzantine layout, covering an area of over 3 ha. of the Beirut Souks dis-
trict. It can be said to be the largest open-area excavation by modern methods, and
the data recovered (together with that of all the other teams) should focus attention

1 E.g. Panella 1970 and Panella 1973. 2 Hayes 1976 and Hayes 1978; Riley 1981.
3 Fulford-Peacock 1984. 4 Fulford-Peacock 1994.
linear typologies and ceramic evolution 63
on Beirut in much the same way that the similarly international excavations of Punic
and Roman-Byzantine Carthage provided a platform for the study of sites and re-
gional trade in the western Mediterranean.
During these excavations some 20,000 archaeological structures were recorded, of
late Iron Age to Ottoman date: a Hellenistic cemetery, several insulae of the Classical
city (streets and porticoes, houses, shops, bakeries, a fullery, inns, cisterns), part of the
Roman Imperial baths, Roman quay, Medieval defences, Fatimid and Crusader occu-
pation, and post-Medieval glass and silk workshops.1

The classification strategy

My approach to the classification of the stratigraphic sequences in Beirut has been to
catalogue the entire ceramic record of three areas: the Insula of Area 2 West, the late
Roman peristyle house of ‘Area 3’ (formerly called the ‘domus’) and the Roman Impe-
rial baths (here roughly two thirds of the Roman-Byzantine levels have been classi-
fied). Some 50 sondages were excavated across the site in order, primarily, to establish
the theoretical expansion of settlement across BEY 006 from east to west, in fact the
case as the ceramic analyses prove. The ceramic sequences of almost all of these
sondages have been fully quantified, some falling within Area 2 West. The remaining
material, stored in some 800 large crates, comprising that of much of the Insula of
Area 2 East, as well as tracts of the Souks site that were technically salvage excavation
or simply observation during the final stages of the excavation when the developers
had taken over (‘watching brief ’), was ‘scanned’ over a period of six months. In this
case, deposits were first weighed and then a record was made of the range of contents
and date, as well as 1: 1 sketches in notebooks for the majority of the classical contexts.
Notes and sketches of the early Islamic and later assemblages were also made.2
The pottery typologies for fine wares, amphorae and kitchen wares, etc., have been
built up piece-meal, according to the stratigraphic sequences investigated. In practice,
the process has been the reverse of that which was required: scan, spot date and then
catalogue. The latter approach has been carried out successfully in Butrint (in the case
of the Triconch Palace) so that the note books of all the material excavated have been
compiled after it was washed and lay drying in the sun and prior to classification.3
The method used to construct the typologies is essentially one based on two fac-
tors: identifying and numbering ‘variants’ and placing these under a form in such a
manner as to trace the form’s development decade by decade. This is nothing new, of
course, if we recall Virginia Grace’s novel method of tracing the development of the
amphora types of specific Greek cities.4

1 Thorpe 1998; Perring 1999; Perring 2003.

2 For notes on the ‘ceramic phases’ (CP 1, 2 etc) that mark the principal periods of activity (occupation,
building, demolition, etc.), as well as ceramic development and trends in imports, on the Beirut Souks site,
see Reynolds 2004b and 2006. These ceramic phases (uniting contexts of similar character and date
throughout the Souks site) are a useful tool as they can be tied to the databases of other finds (coins, glass,
lamps, bones) and the stratigraphy in order to analyse and compare data through roughly 25 year periods.
3 For the Triconch Palace, as well a preliminary study of the pottery, see Reynolds 2002 and Reynolds
4 E.g. Grace 1979. The complete amphorae in the store of the American excavations of the Agora in
Athens are arranged in stacks by type (e.g. Lesbian, Knidian) in chronological order of development.
64 paul reynolds
However, such an approach does become significant when it is applied through
stratigraphic sequences of centuries of pottery. It then becomes clear that seemingly
distinct ‘variants’ or separate ‘forms’ in one period, say c. ad 450 are in fact the later
evolution of a quite distinct looking ‘variant’/’form’ of c. ad 100.
Here I would contrast Hayes’ now widely adopted publication of distinct ‘ceramic’
periods, illustrated by individual assemblages, where each group of forms stands as a
separate entity, with that of a more lineally-integrated, numerically-seriated typology
that is planned in the case of Beirut. In the former case, there is no attempt to define
each pottery form and trace its evolution from one assemblage to the next. The latter
method encourages the pottery specialist to trace continuities and trends of develop-
ment of forms because each variant is identified, defined, entered on the database and
finally drawn.1 It is a method partly driven by, and taking advantage of the need for the
computerised database demands for a concrete ‘identity’ for each form that can be
then be ‘sorted’ to, say, list its occurrence through time, by fabric or date, for example.
This attention to variants and minutiae of typological development may seem un-
necessary at first hand. It is however the primary tool with which to date smaller de-
posits where perhaps there are no fine wares or where certain cooking pot or Beirut
amphora variants help determine more accurately the possible couple of decades to
which the deposit should be assigned. In cases where the possible date range of fine
ware forms is unhelpful (e.g. Eastern Sigillata form 4, ranging late 2nd century bc to
early 1st century ad), it is the amphorae and cooking pots that can provide a better in-
dication of the date of the assemblage. More importantly, a fragmented classification
or typology, the former due to selection of deposits of interest for publication, may
and often does lead to a failure to identify continuity (or not) of form, fabric-ware,
source, cultural object or culinary traditions. Herein lies the primary advantage of
documenting and tracing ceramic typologies in as much detail as the vessels them-
selves dictate.

In the following paragraphs several examples of this process and their significance
for our interpretation of the economy and cultural trends will be presented. For a
general map of sites of interest in the Levant, including those mentioned in the text,
see Map 1.

a. Amphorae
1. The Beirut amphora (Fig. 1)
The typology of the Beirut amphora type is complex and spans seven centuries2 (from
the late 2nd century bc perhaps, or at least from c. 100 bc to c. ad 650) (Fig. 1).3 The

1 I owe this method of research to Jerry Evans who preceded me as pottery specialist for the Beirut
Souks project. He introduced this system for the recording of the Beirut pottery. For notes on aspects of
the ‘ceramic phase’ dating of the Beirut pottery under my care, see Reynolds 2004.
2 Reynolds 1999, Appendix; Reynolds 2000a; see now ’Ala Eddine 2005 for the earliest forms.
3 The earliest version datable to the early 1st century bc, if not earlier (following ’Ala Eddine 2005),
now ‘Beirut 1a’ (Fig. 1b) has only recently been ‘discovered’ and added to the series, as well as an addition-
al 5th century transitional variant, see below. For some complete examples of some of the Beirut series, see
also ’Ala Eddine 2005. I would like here to thank Hans Curvers for sending me a copy of that article.
linear typologies and ceramic evolution 65

Soles/Soli Yumurtalik/
Aegeae Iskanderun/
Alexandria ad Issum
Ayas/ Arsuz/Rhosus Aleppo/
Elaeussa Sebaste Beyho/ Beroea
Antioch Qalb Loz
Seleucia in Pieria Umm
al Marra
Ras al Basit/Posideium Chalcis

R. Orontes
Ras Ibn Hani
Latakia/Laodicea Apamea
Salamis Paltus
Balaneae Hama/Ephaneia

Kition/Citium Tartus/Antaradus
Paphos Zygi Amrit/Marathus Homs/Emesa
Kourion/ Amathonte/Amathus Orthosia Arqa/Arca Caesarea ad Libanum
Curium Tripoli/Tripolis


Jiye/Porphyreon Chalcis/Kamed al Loz
Sidon Chhim Damascus
Sarepta Rashaiya al Fouhar
Tyre Baneas/Caesarea Paneas
Mt Hermon Tel Anafa
Ovesh H. 'Uza/Tell Ayadiya
H. Masref H. 'Eitayim Bata
Kav Capernaum
Tell Keisan Galilee
Dor/Dora Yoqneam
Caesarea Beth She'an/Scythopolis
Jalame Pella
Samaria Jerash

Tell er-Ras
Ashdod Jerusalem
Gaza Ramat Rahel

Dead Sea


Map 1. General map of sites in the Levantine region.

66 paul reynolds

Fig. 1a. Late Hellenistic Sidonian amphora.

Fig. 1b-y. The Beirut amphora from the late 2nd century/100 bc to the 7th century ad.
linear typologies and ceramic evolution 67
Hellenistic amphora Fig. 1a, produced probably at, or for Sidon, a version of this be-
ing certainly produced at Jiyeh1 could well be the direct predecessor of the Beirut am-
phora (i.e. Fig. 1b ff). A continuous ‘logical’ evolution of rim types can be traced
through c. 25-year stages throughout this long period. Ten major typological changes
in the development can be identified, though we should see even these as one long,
continuous period in the evolution of the amphora. The subdivisions made are thus
arbitrary and dictated by the need to break down the sequence into decades, for dat-
ing purposes. They are of course also ‘observable’ simply because of the sequence of
building activity and renewal that are a feature of continued urban occupation. Major,
hence more observable, activity and investment in the said properties tended to occur
in 10 to 20 year periods, in key, one suspects, with the successive generations that
owned, remodelled or sold properties that were then the target of refurbishment or
further subdivision, for example. The tight concordance of observable ‘ceramic phas-
es’ with successive stages in building activity in the case of the Beirut Souks excava-
tions demonstrates that the methodology and attention to detail is appropriate.2
‘Horizontal’ differences to the ‘vertical’ linear typological development of am-
phorae are illustrated by contemporary variations (by different workshops) of the
stage of development in vogue at a particular stage in the amphora’s evolution. For
example, there are many variations on the general rim type that was in vogue in the
early 3rd century ad (Fig. 1k-m: Beirut 4), and that set of variants is clearly distinct to
the rim type that was current in the early 2nd century ad (Fig. 1h-i: Beirut 3.1b and 3.2).
Evidence that the amphora evolved is that mid 2nd century ad variants are formally
‘in between’ these two extremes (Fig. 1j: Beirut 3.3). Handles, and to some extent
bases, changed with respect to the overall size and shape of the Beirut amphora as its
capacity increased during the course of the 2nd century ad, reaching its peak size in
the early 3rd century (Fig. 1 m-o). By the mid 3rd century the rims and handles were
smaller (Fig. 1p: Beirut 4d) and set the trend for the fourth century (Fig. 1q-s) (Beirut
5). A quick look at the typological development illustrates just how apparently ‘unre-
lated’ the Beirut amphora of c. 100 bc is to that of c. ad 400, or the latter to that pro-
duced in the 6th century. The three variants could be, and have been, classified as dif-
ferent amphorae, though this is not the case.
In the early 5th century the method of forming the rim changed, the top of the neck
being folded over inwards, rather than outwards, leaving a visible fold on the inner face
in many cases (Fig. 1t: Beirut 7). Like the late 4th century Beirut amphora, the body of
Beirut 7 was rather narrow and long. The second half of the 5th century introduced a
major change in the body shape and handle placement of the Beirut amphora (Fig.
1u: Beirut 8.1A).3 This and its mid 6th to 7th century successors were free-standing, with
strap-like handles attached to the lower neck (recalling Sinope and Egyptian am-

1 Waliszewski et al. 2006, Pl 9.1, 3-6

2 I am grateful to Dominic Perring and Reuben Thorpe for their fruitful and varied discussion of ‘site
formation processes’.
3 A rare variant, contemporary with Beirut 7 and found in the same early 5th century deposits, has a nar-
row band rim and handles attached low on the neck, Bey 006.13017.224-225; 13053.19; 13058.6; 13063.373;
13357.22. It thus could be the origin for Beirut 8. Its base type is unknown, but I suspect, given the width of
the body, that it was similar to Beirut 7 and predecessors (carrot bodied with a hollow toe). The adoption
of a free-standing ring foot base for Beirut 8 thus remains unprecedented and innovative.
68 paul reynolds
phorae) and they grew progressively smaller (Fig. 1u-y). A similar evolution of the
Akko-region/(and likely southern Lebanese) ‘Agora M 334’ type can be observed over
the same period and is perhaps not coincidental (see below: Fig. 2h-m).
Though there are significant changes in the manufacture and shape of the Beirut
amphorae of the 5th to 7th centuries and their predecessors, I have still opted to classi-
fy the entire series under one epithet – the ‘Beirut amphora’ – as I believe its devel-
opment was a continuous and linear process from the 1st century bc onwards. I would
nevertheless accept that marked typological changes of Beirut 8 with respect to
Beirut 7 that occurred over only a few decades may reflect some external typological
influence on the formerly self-contained development of the Beirut amphora.

2. The ‘Agora M 334’ type (Fig. 2)

The Agora M 334 amphora is a ‘variant’ found in the Athenian Agora1 (similar to Fig.
2g) that represents the c. mid 5th century ad stage of development of an amphora type
that covers a much wider time-span. The production of the type seems to be confined
to southern Phoenicia.2
An initial typology describing the ‘linear’ stages of development of the type
through the 4th to 7th centuries has been published.3 Another well-known amphora,
the diminutive ‘Augst 46-47’, that appears for the first time in Beirut in the mid 3rd cen-
tury,4 preceded the 4th century type (Fig. 2a-b).5 Whether this 3rd century shape, that
shares some of the typological features of the later form actually evolved in a direct
‘linear’ fashion into the 4th century, more ‘classic’ shape is debatable, particularly giv-
en the likely markedly distinct purposes, and hence sizes, of the two shapes: the Augst
46-47 probably carried dates or figs, whereas the later shape was almost certainly a
wine amphora, in part indicated by its presence on wine production sites in northern
As noted above with respect to the parallel development of the Beirut amphora,
AM 12/Agora M 334, keeping its characteristic band rim and handles, underwent a

1 Robinson 1959, p. 115, Plate 33, M 334. Though the deposit was dated to the 6th century by Robinson
he says that this date is ‘arbitrary’, between the two more secure datable deposits that precede and follow
it: the one being early 5th century, the other late 6th century. Hence we can now assign a more appropriate
date for ‘Agora M 334’ in the mid 5th century, on the basis of more reliable dating from the Beirut sequences
where this stage of rim development occurs.
2 Akko/Acre/Ptolemais and the very southern part of modern Lebanon: kiln sites reach the very bor-
ders of Lebanon and there is no reason to think they will not be found across the border, perhaps in the
well-preserved Roman-Byzantine villages that occupy the region south of Tyre, e.g. in the Jebel Amil (see
Reynolds 2005a, 571-572, for bibliography and discussion of the production sites).
3 Reynolds 2005a, pp. 571-572, Plate 15: classified as ‘AM 12’.
4 It is common in the large deposit BEY 006.5051 (total weight, 410 kg). Significantly, it did not appear in
the fills of the natatio of the Imperial Baths (total weight, 681 kg).
5 Martin-Kilcher 1994, pp. 436-437, from a late 2nd or early 3rd century context. The fabric of some ex-
amples of Augst 46-47 (hard, lime rich with red oxide pellets) is related to that of some variants of AM 12/Ago-
ra M 334 present in Beirut but is not typical for the later class. This fabric is also very close to that of a single
example of Colchester 105/Peacock and Williams Class 65 found in BEY 006 (for the form, see also Reynolds
2005a, Fig. 137: the base is illustrated at an incorrect scale, as it corresponds in size to the upper section). The
latter early 3rd century ad Lyon example, with the exception of its wide ring foot base, is surely typological-
ly related to Augst 46-47 (rim and handles), and is actually closer in its general rim and handle characteristics
to the later form Agora M 334. The panorama of forms and their inter-relationships is indeed complex.
linear typologies and ceramic evolution 69

Fig. 2a-m. ‘Augst 46-47’ and the origins and development of the ‘Agora m 334’ type.
70 paul reynolds
transformation during the 5 century, when it became a free-standing form with a
wide ring foot base (Fig. 2h-i). As such, it could be classed as a ‘table-amphora’. The
latest products have a similar body but a smaller foot, like the examples found in
Beirut, Saraçhane-Istanbul and the Crypta Balbi (Rome) (Fig. 2k-m).1 Before going on
to comment on some of the questions of methodology and terminology that this am-
phora raises we should examine another important type and its predecessors: Late
Roman Amphora 1.

3. ‘Late Roman Amphora 1’ and its predecessor, Pompeii 5:

first to seventh centuries ad (Fig. 3)
In the same article on Levantine amphorae it was suggested, on the basis of shared
fabrics and production sites, that the east Cilician production of lra 1 in the Byzan-
tine period (e.g. Fig. 3m and o) can be traced back to much earlier origins: the ‘Pom-
peii 5’ type of the 1st century ad (e.g. Fig. 3a2).3 The rather small body size of lra 1
was not simply a Late Roman phenomenon, but derived from that of the free-stand-
ing Pompeii 5, the Late Roman 1 by the early 5th century losing the small hollow foot
that grew progressively smaller through the 3rd and 4th centuries.
The early 3rd century development of the Pompeii 5 type, in the same east Cilician
fabrics, was also presented, based on their presence in substantial quantities in a mas-
sive deposit of the period filling the natatio of the Imperial baths of Beirut (site bey
045).4 In this period one common variant had a bulbous upper neck, narrow lower
neck, and similar folded-bevelled handles which were rather more arched in profile
(Fig. 3c). Another variant, with a wide neck, was closer in shape to the 2nd century
Pompeii 5 (Fig. 3b). It was hoped that variants transitional to the much smaller fourth
century lra 1 (Fig. 3h-k) would eventually emerge to demonstrate their continuous
Since this work, finds in Beirut have provided us with the likely typological pre-
cursor to the mid 4th century lra 1. These have appeared in quantity, some with dip-
inti, in the large Beirut deposit of the mid 3rd century ad already mentioned5 (Fig. 3d-
f ). These mid 3rd century predecessors to lra 1 had in fact already been sign-posted
by Arthur and Oren, who were the first to recognise them in the imported material
of northern Sinai.6 The mid 3rd century variant is not free-standing, but has a small
hollow toe. Mid to late fourth century variants of lra 1 notably share this foot, but it
is smaller (Fig. 3h, mid 4th century; Fig. 3i, late 4th century P29339 from the Athenian
Agora (deposit omega 1962): complete but for toe, broken off ). Their handles are al-
so made in the same fashion as the 3rd century versions (folded and bevelled), but are

1 Hayes 1992, pp. 67, 97-98, Deposit 22.8, Fig. 22.6, 67, Type 15). Saguì-Ricci-Romei 1997, p. 36, Fig. 2.7,
‘Crypta Balbi 1’.
2 An almost complete example, one of many, from the Athenian Agora: P30965.
3 I am most grateful to John Camp, director of the American Excavations in the Athenian Agora for his
kind permission to publish some of the amphorae from the Agora prior to the completion of the final vol-
ume on the Imperial Roman amphorae (Reynolds in preparation b). Andre Opait has also kindly allowed
me to publish both P11726 and P29339 (see below), amphorae due for publication in his forthcoming vol-
ume on the 4th to 7th century ad amphorae of the American excavations in the Athenian Agora.
4 Reynolds 2005a, plate 3, p. 565, figs.19-22. 5 Bey 006.5051.
6 Arthur-Oren 1998, Fig. 6.2.
linear typologies and ceramic evolution 71

Fig. 3a-q. The origins and development of the Late Roman amphora 1 type
from the 1st to 7th centuries ad.
72 paul reynolds
necessarily narrower and smaller. To complete the 3rd to 4th century lineage we can
now add a vessel from the Athenian Agora, P11726, dated to c. 300 (Fig. 3g). Pre-
dictably, its typological features lie between the mid 3rd and late 4th century examples.
By the 5th century the handles were only folded at the top and the trend is for the han-
dles of lra 1 to become solid (Fig. 3 l-m).1 The final evolution of the ‘standard’ lra
1 of the later 5th (rather ovoid body) and 6th centuries (cylindrical body, with solid han-
dles) is also illustrated (Fig. 3n-o).
Another vessel, classified as an ‘imitation of a Gallic amphora’ (Fig. 3p),2 was a
unique find in the early 3rd century phase, alongside the numerous examples of ‘bul-
bous necked’ Pompeii 5, and is absent in the subsequent mid 3rd century phase.
Though it may represent the earliest production phase of the ‘early lra 1’ Fig. 3d (cf.
the rim and handles) a complete example from the Athenian Agora seems more re-
lated in shape to the Mauretanian form Keay 1 and Dressel 30 (Fig. 3q).3 It is still un-
clear quite how these may or may not be related to the lra 1 series.

What I believe can be said with relative certainty is that the lra 1 of the later 4th cen-
tury evolved directly from the mid 3rd century shape. A typology of ‘lra 1’, ‘linear’ in
character, should be brought back at least to the mid 3rd century. More problematical
is the direct evolution of late Pompeii 5 into the ‘early’ or ‘proto’ lra 1. The two
shapes, on the basis of their fabrics, were clearly produced in the same region (East
Cilicia), and probably the same production sites. The proto lra 1 replaced the late
Pompeii 5, a vessel that shared the same function and, in some cases, markets for east
Cilician wine and did so in a similar module/table amphora format. It may be sig-
nificant that the large, classic Dressel 2-4, as well as the wide-necked version of this
shape, thought to have transported fruit (Agora G 198) (both produced in the same
workshops in Eastern Cilicia, in at least one of the Pompeii 5 fabrics) that were con-
temporaneously exported with Pompeii 5 (they both occur at Pompeii and in the
Athenian Agora) did not continue into the 3rd century, unlike their similarly large
cousins produced on the north Syrian coast at Amrit (the latter range in date from the
2nd to late 4th centuries).4 It was perhaps a short step for the bulbous-necked late Pom-
peii 5 to evolve into the similarly tall, though narrower, necked and banded rim pro-
to lra 1, bearing the same handles.

b. Cooking pots: typology and culture (Fig. 6)

The sequence of Fig. 6 illustrates the likely linear development of a cooking pot
shape that was local to Beirut through the 1st to 5th centuries. Some stages of this
development are also mirrored in the cooking pots of other close-regional sources
(i.e. in different wares, but similar ‘variants’: products of Syria (cf. those in the Homs
region) and the southern Beqaa or Hula Valley (i.e. Reynolds 1999, cw 34).5

1 See Reynolds 2005a, for more comment. 2 Bey 045.1503.12; Reynolds 2005a, Fig. 23.
3 Agora P11936. 4 Reynolds 2005a, plate 5, Fig. 46.
5 In fact the more detailed development of the Beirut cooking pot from the 1st to 3rd centuries has been
illustrated with Homs examples, as drawings of the Beirut type pieces are not available at the time of
writing this article. See Reynolds-Waksman 2008, for a fuller discussion of the distribution and typological
relationships between Beirut, Beqaa Valley, north Palestinian and Syrian cooking wares.
linear typologies and ceramic evolution 73

Fig. 6a-t. The shared evolution of cooking pots in the Levant, 1st to 7th centuries:
Lebanese, Syrian and north Palestinian wares.
Fig. 6u. Late 6th to 7th century Workshop X, Form 4.
74 paul reynolds
Even though there are marked differences in the earliest and latest ‘variant’ rim
types of this particular Beirut cooking pot, a continuous development for this shape
can be traced from the 1st century ad till the end of its production in the 5th century,
in much the same way that the Beirut amphora demonstrates continuity through
many centuries. Rims were pulled, stretched, shortened, over time to such an extent
that the linear relationship between the earliest and latest versions of the same type
is not evident until the entire sequence is reconstructed. A similar development over
six centuries can also be observed for the principal cooking pot form of Roman
Butrint1 (Albania). Seeing and classifying both the Beirut and Butrint variants as sep-
arate entities, through a piece-meal publication strategy, ceramicists would classify
them as unrelated forms. One could equally push the introduction of the Beirut form
much further, into the Hellenistic 2nd century bc. Where indeed should one stop, as
typical Persian period 4th century bc Beirut cooking pots are also collar-rimmed, one
Hellenistic cooking pot surely evolving from it?
If we add to this the fact that particular stages (and perhaps the entire sequence) of
the series were equally produced by other, non-Beirut (‘cw 34’), even Syrian centres
(e.g. Homs), or even provinces (Fig. 6i),2 we have another interesting phenomenon:
the common and widespread adoption (some? or all?) of the evolutionary stages of
this cooking pot. Indeed, the extent to which the Egyptian version is part of a con-
tinuous process of imitation or, perhaps better, shared culinary practice tied to the
linear development of a sequence of metal prototypes, is for those more familiar with
Egyptian cooking wares to say. It is surely unlikely that this Egyptian 3rd century cook-
ing pot, found as a rare import in Beirut, is an isolated case. The same development
should, in theory, be evident in Egyptian assemblages. The phenomenon of parallel
regional linear series of cooking pots certainly needs some explanation. Perhaps the
ceramic and metal versions influenced each other in an out-of-step imitation that was
followed across the Levantine provinces.
Observation of the Homs survey material suggests that not only the late Roman,
but also Persian and Hellenistic cooking pot ‘variants’ in Homs mirror those en-
countered in Beirut, and, significantly, coastal Palestine.3 The Homs repertoire thus
reflects the adoption of stages of development of cooking pots throughout the Lev-
ant from the Persian to Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods.4 The many stages
of this evolution can be traced decade by decade in Beirut because of the detailed
study of ceramic sequences. Their observation elsewhere, for the Roman-Byzantine
period at least, is more patchy.
For a parallel ware to Beirut products, ‘cw 34’ (e.g. Fig. 6i, in a pale pinkish fab-
ric with surfaces often fired to a patina, like African Red Slip Ware), perhaps origi-
nating in the southern Beqaa Valley or Hula Valley,5 the development and intermit-

1 Reynolds-Hernández-Çondi 2008, fig. 23.

2 The vessel Bey 006.7605.51 is an Egyptian version (Nile silt fabric) of the early 3rd century ad variant
Fig. 6i.
3 E.g. Tel Dor: Stern et al. 1995; Tel Anafa: Berlin 1997a; note the well-termed work of Lapp 1961,
‘Palestinian Chronology’.
4 Reynolds in preparation c. I would like to thank Graham Philip for his kind permission to publish
some of the pottery of the Homs Survey (University of Newcastle) in advance of the final publication.
5 Hellenistic slipped fine wares and Hellenistic and Roman cooking wares in Kamed al Loz are pre-
linear typologies and ceramic evolution 75
tent role in the Beirut market can be traced quantitatively and with relatively good
The model for the 5th century cooking pots of Apamea and Homs would appear to
be north Palestinian, however, as they imitate a Workshop X/?Tell Keisan form (Fig.
6o; the Apamea and Homs examples are Fig. 6p and q respectively). Or they seem to
share a common (?metal) prototype. Beirut did not produce this shape in the 5th cen-
tury: it continued, as did cw 34, to end its own series with Fig. 6n.
Hereafter, and especially after the ad 551 earthquake that devastated the city, the
coarse ware supply of Beirut was dominated by imports of north Palestinian Work-
shop X, including, from the late 6th century onwards, the successor to Fig. 6n, the
cooking pot with concave rim, Workshop X form 4 (Fig. 6u). Beirut and possibly
Cyprus occasionally imitated the latter form.2 In contrast, Apamea and Homs
continued to produce a cooking pot with ring handles on the shoulder based on the
early 6th century Workshop X form (Fig. 6r-t) during the 6th century and into the
Umayyad period.3 These Syrian cities did not adopt the concave rim form, even
though this is typical (in non-Workshop X fabric) in late Umayyad Beirut.4
There would thus appear to have been a rift in the cooking pot models adopted
within the Levant in the late 6th century: Beirut continued its connection with Work-
shop X and the north Palestinian coast, whereas Homs and Apamea in inland Syria
went their own way and stuck to the 5th to 6th century form they had originally adopt-
ed and continued to do so well into the Islamic period. Quite why Workshop X/?Tell
Keisan broke with tradition and adopted a completely new shape with atypical rim
type and handle attachment is puzzling. Such forms had not been seen since the Hel-
lenistic period in Phoenicia. Parallels closer in date are the cooking pots of 5th centu-
ry ad Carthage and their successors.5 Though Carthage itself may have occasionally
produced its own version of the Workshop X form Fig. 6u, paradoxically, the local
version is too rare in Carthage to have been the model for the Palestinian shape.6

Reconstructing typologies and economic dynamics
The three amphora classes presented above demonstrate the longevity of production
and popularity of specific amphora forms. This is equally true for Palestinian am-
phorae, whether the long ‘cigar-shaped’ ‘Late Roman Amphora 4’ of Gaza-Ashkelon
or, typologically related to it, the contemporary bag-shaped/globular ‘Late Roman
Amphora 5’, both with early Roman predecessors. The origins of the Gazan ampho-
ra stretch back even further into the Hellenistic and Persian periods.7
In the case of the Beirut amphora it is reasonable to view the type as the amphora
of the city of Berytus, in the same way that the amphorae of Rhodes or Lesbos were

dominantly in a very similar ware to CW 34. Large storage jars – oil jars? – that were traded along the Beqaa
Valley, as far as Baalbek, and were also supplied to Beirut are in a similar ware, with a patina-fired surface.
The source of these products could also lie further south, in northern Galilee? (Hula Valley?).
1 Waksman et al. 2005; Reynolds-Waksman 2008. 2 Reynolds-Waksman 2008.
3 Sodini-Villeneuve 1992, fig. 7. 4 Reynolds 2003a.
5 Fulford-Peacock 1984, Cooking pot 19 and 20.
6 Hayes 1978, p. 58, Deposit xxv, fig. 15.50-5. 7 Reynolds 2005a.
76 paul reynolds
specific to their respective cities in the Hellenistic period. I have argued further that
Beirut amphorae pertain equally to the territory of the Roman colony. If a citizen liv-
ing within the territory of Colonia Berytus wished to package wine in an amphora, he
chose that type and not another.
I should quickly say that, in addition to the ‘Beirut amphora’ that probably carried
wine (Fig. 4a-b), the city of Beirut actually produced two other, quite different am-
phora types, though solely during the 1st to 3rd centuries, and probably for transport-
ing other commodities: the small ‘carrot’ amphora, for dates (Fig. 4c), that was ex-
ported to Gaul, Britain and the Rhine provinces, and a large amphora that recalls
Dressel 14, perhaps equally for fish products (Fig. 4d-g).1 Production sites of the
Beirut amphora of the 1st century ad (indicated by wasters) have also been located at
the mansio at Khalde, 15 km south of Beirut, and at the port of Jiyeh/Porphyreon, c. 30
km south of Beirut.2
In a similar fashion, ‘Augst 46-47’ and am 12/Agora m 334 may be special to
Akko/Ptolemais and its territory. Might their production limits be used to define city
territories? The Hellenistic to Roman amphora of Tyre is another such example.3 Its
southern distribution would seem to correspond to the limits of its large territory, an
observation originally made by Andrea Berlin, with respect to Tyrian ceramics in gen-
eral.4 Its production would also seem to have a political dimension given that the am-
phora appears (from the exports to Beirut) to have ended abruptly in the early 3rd cen-
tury, a fact perhaps connected with the Severan reorganisation of the territories of
Tyre, Sidon, Beirut and Baalbek.5
Here its possible replacement by am 12/Agora m 334 in southern Lebanon by the
early Byzantine villages that populate the region and would have lain within the ter-
ritory of Tyre is something that needs to be investigated. I have seen many examples
of 4th century Agora M 334/am 12 in Tyre itself, from several hypogea excavated close
to the city,6 as well as at the port of Jiyeh/Porphyreon and at Chhîm, in the uplands
east of Jiyeh (but few corresponding 4th century and later Beirut amphorae on any of
these sites). Indeed, the large number of late 5th or 6th century (ring-based) Agora M
334 amphorae found in a hypogeum excavated at Chhîm, was a fact that was notewor-
thy about the assemblage. Did Chhîm, with its basilica and oil presses and a distinc-
tive amphora type of its own, a cross between a Beirut amphora (rim) and amphorae
of Palestinian type (cf. the base: Fig. 5),7 belong in the territory of Tyre, or Sidon, but
not Beirut?
Jiheh/Porphyreon, we know from the dedication of one of the mosaics in its basilica,
dated according to the Sidonian calendar, was administratively tied to Sidon by the
Byzantine period, and not Beirut (cf. the production of Beirut amphorae at Jiyeh in the

1 ‘am 72’, the Bey 015 pottery workshops: Waksman et al. 2003.
2 For ceramic production at Jiyeh in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, see now Waliszewski et al.
2006. In Reynolds 2005a, Jiyeh had already been noted as the further southern location for the distribution
of Beirut amphorae in quantity: it is notably rare in Tyre. I would here like especially to thank Tomasz Wal-
iszewski and Urszula Wicenciak for allowing me to examine the material of the Polish excavations at Chhîm
and Jiyeh. 3 Reynolds 2005, figs. 89-91.
4 Berlin 1997b. 5 Butcher 2004a; Reynolds 2003b.
6 My thanks to Sumiyo Tsujimura for showing me this material.
7 Reynolds 2005a, figs. 92-93; Reynolds 2004c.
linear typologies and ceramic evolution 77

Fig. 4a-f. Beirut. bey015 kiln products. a) Beirut 2, b) Beirut 3a, c) ‘carrot’ amphorae,
d-f ) am 72 variants.

1st century ad).1 We have already noted that Jiyeh produced its own version of a Sidon-
ian amphora (as Fig. 1a) in the later Hellenistic period. The shift at Jiyeh to the pro-
duction of the Beirut amphora in the 1st century ad could well be ceramic evidence for
the inclusion of Jiyeh, formerly under Sidon, into the territorium of the new Roman
colonia Berytus (founded c. 17/15 bc). The range of amphorae found at Jiyeh in the
Byzantine period, however, would seem to reflect a return to a more southern bias in
its supply, based, I would suggest, on its re-established administrative ties with Sidon.

1 Waliszewski et al. 2006.

78 paul reynolds
‘Pompeii 5’ through to ‘lra 1’ are
more regional, perhaps ‘provincial’ am-
phora types, in the same way that the
pale, sometimes painted, amphorae of
central Syria from Homs/Emessa to the
Euphrates are related to each other and
comprise a Central Syrian ‘class’.1 Ras
al Basit parallels the model of eastern
Cilicia to some extent. Though very
probably partaking in exports of
‘Laodicean’ amphorae to Egypt in the
1st to 3rd centuries (alongside Pompeii 5
and successors, also exported there,
perhaps under the same epithet), Ras al
Basit did not go on to produce the lra
1, as I have argued.2 Its major exports,
perhaps also not that long-distance,
during the 3rd to 5th centuries were mor-
tars, and not amphorae. Ras al Basit
mortars are a major component of
Beirut assemblages of that date.
Having established that certain well-
Fig. 5. The Chhîm amphora. known ‘Late Roman’ amphorae are
probably ‘Early Roman’ and certainly
‘mid Roman’, i.e. 3rd century amphora
forms, we are left with a problem of nomenclature. The same can be said for the mi-
caceous lra 3 type (two-handled) and its Imperial period, one-handled, predecessors.
The generic term ‘micaceous amphora’, as well as reference to specific Athenian Ago-
ra ‘variants’ identified by Robinson3 has been adopted by some in order to solve this
problem.4 We know what we mean, but the terminology is becoming difficult. It would
be more appropriate to call the type by one name and break its development down in-
to successive stages, as has been done for the Beirut amphora (Beirut 1, 2, 3 etc).
More serious, however, is the resistance by some, or general failure by others to
recognise that we have become constrained by our own typologies, and by specific
variants, e.g. ‘Agora M 334’, ‘Agora M 273’ (for late Roman Samian and other variants),
and fail to see the continuity of production, regional or city-based, for what it is. The
rigid use of ‘Early’, ‘Mid’ and ‘Late’ Roman,5 convenient at first, is now a barrier to
our understanding of what these amphorae represent. Though we may find that
some types appeared solely in the late Roman-Byzantine period,6 these are perhaps
rare exceptions.

1 Reynolds forthcoming; Pieri-Vokaer unpublished 2006.

2 Reynolds 2005a. 3 Robinson 1959, e.g. pp. 65-66.
4 Lemaître 1997, for both. 5 See Riley 1983.
6 Keay 79, the small Balearic container may be an example of a type that emerged with the Byzantine
conquest of the Balearics (Keay 1984, pp. 369-375, Fig. 170).
linear typologies and ceramic evolution 79
We should view and interpret regional-city amphorae – forms with a long history
– within the context and dynamics in which they were created. Amphorae were tied
to the cities that in one way or another ‘governed’, ‘controlled’ (e.g. through taxation)
or administered the citizens that packaged their commodities in amphorae. Even es-
tates and villages (e.g. Chhîm) that seem to be ‘outside’ the city base are nevertheless
linked to specific cities. This is the case in the East and must have been so throughout
the Roman world. The Roman provinces of the East followed the same structural or-
ganisation comprised of ‘cells’ headed by cities, as they did under the Ptolemies and
Seleucids. A strong city-based production and, to some degree, territorially-limited
distribution can be observed for Roman provincial coinage in the East.1
A classic example of how the perception of the date of an amphora type can be too
rigid is that of Gazan ‘Late Roman Amphora 4’. Here the Late Roman date – late 4th
century onwards – of examples encountered in the West, for example at Carthage,
where the name was coined,2 can be seen to be a reflection of its abnormal trading
pattern with regards to the West. In fact, the form and early versions of it were trad-
ed between the cities of the Levant and Egypt centuries previously, at least from the
early 2nd century ad onwards. It is therefore not a ‘Late Roman’ type. Palestinian ‘bag-
shaped’ amphorae suffer from the same problem, even worse, as north Palestinian ex-
amples were not generally shipped to western ports until the 5th century.3 The late ar-
rival – hence mislabelling as ‘Late Roman’ types by archaeologists – in western ports
was surely dictated by a specific cultural dynamic: Christianity and the prestige of us-
ing Palestinian wine, from the ‘Holy Land’, in the celebration of the Eucharist from
the 4th century onwards. The ports of Caesarea and Gaza, furthermore, served as
prime destinations for Christian pilgrims seeking holy sites.4 It is significant that
Phoenician (e.g. Beiruti) and Syrian wines were scarcely traded in the 4th to 7th cen-
turies, presumably because they did not offer such a provenance.5
A failure to observe continuity, however, is equally a facet of research in the East.
Rigid terminology, combined with a piece-meal approach to the study of ceramic de-
posits and even sequences, are major factors in this process. There is also a lack of
courage to break and abandon accepted typologies, some, notably that of Dressel,
having taken over the minds of some scholars. Dressel had no intention of providing
the blue-print for what are extremely complex, regional typologies of amphorae.
There is a fixation on specific variants, of ‘amphora-spotting’. This is acceptable so
long as we do not lose sight of the fact that variants, all of them I would have thought,
belong to families of long tradition: that of the cities and territories that produced
them. Typologies should be flexible and organic, a reflection of dynamics that con-

1 For the ‘cellular’ structure of the city-based production of Roman ‘provincial’ coinage in the East (and
I owe this term to him), see Butcher 2003 and Butcher 2004b. 2 Hayes 1976.
3 Reynolds 2005a, Table 1 for a summary of the dating of exports to the West; Reynolds 2005b.
4 For the Palestinian wine trade, see Pieri 2005a and Kingsely 2000.
5 Wine production during the (early?) Roman period is now attested at Kamed al Loz, close to the source
of one of two principal current Lebanese vintages, Château Kefraya. Some 175 wine presses, with concen-
trations in Mtein, Michikha and Baskinta, have been located in North Mtein (Mount Lebanon), in the high-
lands to the north-east of Beirut (many thanks to Zeina Gabriel for sharing this information on her current
survey work). My impression of the pottery from these sites is that they are predominantly early Roman
(1st to 2nd centuries ad) and Medieval.
80 paul reynolds
tributed to the patchwork of city-regional forms and their imitations. The production
of specific amphora types may shift according to geopolitical factors, notably the lo-
cation of sites within one city territory and then another, as argued in the case of
Jiyeh/Porphyreon. These factors must be considered when mapping the distribution
of local-regional amphorae.
Beirut, being a port that was closely connected to the trading network of other
Levantine ports (Ras al Basit, Akko, Gaza) is able to offer us an almost unbroken in-
sight into the typological development of the amphorae of the Levantine coast.
Hence it is possible to create almost continuous typologies for some products
through the 2nd to 7th centuries. The gaps that occur – specifically in the period ad 250-
325 (e.g. for lra 1 and ‘Agora m 334’) – are due to a break in supply that occurred (per-
haps generally in the Mediterranean) over this period and can only be filled in at this
stage by studying deposits from the regional sources themselves. One assumes here
that local production continued, but the amphorae were not exported. The same is
surely true for the production of the major Cypriot and Phocean fine wares, for which
the intermediate products of the late 3rd to early 4th centuries that bridge those of the
Early and Late Empires are lacking.1
Other amphora ‘lineages’ are only partly reconstructable from Beirut deposits be-
cause the contacts were more sporadic: due to their greater distance from Beirut or
– more significantly and not necessarily connected to the former – due to the low fre-
quency of contact. Indeed, fish sauce amphorae from Portugal and southern Spain
regularly reached Beirut in the first half of the 2nd century ad, whereas contempo-
rary amphorae from nearby Egypt were not imported. Specific mercantile contacts
seem to have been driven by market forces, Beirut taste for Spanish and Portuguese
garum and other fish products, for example. This was clearly not due to the annona
shipments of Spanish oil, as Dressel 20s are extremely rare in Beirut.2 The fish trade
is clear evidence for private and not state-driven mercantile activities.
A comparison between the supplies of Beirut and Butrint (on the southern Alban-
ian coast) demonstrates that each port captured goods distributed to Italy and the
Levant, respectively, from specific cities in the Aegean and Asia Minor. Whereas a ty-
pology for Samian amphorae could not be reconstructed from finds in Beirut,3 the
opposite is the case in Butrint. In this case what can be reconstructed is restricted by
the periods when the trade between Samos and Italy was dominant (5th to 6th cen-
turies), with only the odd vessel appearing in Butrint in the early 3rd century.
Reconstructing and tracing the typologies of the long-lived amphorae of specific
cities or regions depends on careful observation of fabrics in combination with typo-
logical detail. Sporadic finds of, say, the amphorae of Anemurium in Beirut may occur
such as the odd toe, rim or handle, from month to month or more in deposits as they
are being processed. It is fairly haphazard and the results are incomplete. The sum-
mary breakdown of the complex range of Syrian, Lebanese (non-Beirut) and north

1 I.e. transitional forms of Cypriot sigillata to Cypriot Red Slip Ware/lrd and those that must have
bridged the 3rd century forms of Çandarli Ware and the later Phocean Red Slip Ware/lrc, the earliest, late
4th and early 5th century examples of which, found in Beirut contexts, are closer in ware to Çandarli ware
than lrc.
2 See Reynolds 2005b, for a discussion of the Spanish oil trade and its restrictive marketing.
3 Except the odd ‘variant’: cf. ‘Augst 47’ finds in Augst.
linear typologies and ceramic evolution 81
Palestinian amphora forms offered in my recent work was gradually built up from the
theoretical ‘mapping’ of city or regional amphora forms and their satellite-imitations
(regional amphora ‘families’).1 The process seems to have worked quite well. Some
fabrics and forms-variants that are related to each other clearly have to correspond to
some regions and not others.2 Fine-tuning the regional typology of am 12/Agora m
334 within northern Palestine and southern Lebanon can only come through work on
kiln sites and the study of urban sequences in that specific region.
This is equally true for the amphorae that are related typologically to the Samian
class, some with quite different fabrics to Samos proper: one would need to investi-
gate neighbouring islands and cities ‘in the orbit of Samos’ to determine the location
of each fabric and respective sequence of variants.3 One major ‘Samian class’ am-
phora encountered in Butrint, is Phocean, I suspect, on the basis of its similarity to
Phocean cooking wares.4
This of course needs to be corroborated through work in the said region, as well
as through more scientific archaeometric comparison of the clays of these cooking
pots and amphorae. It is therefore equally important, when trying to establish the
sources of imports, to keep an eye on the range of imported cooking wares and fine
wares. These may, in fact should be, pointers to the specific shipping routes that un-
derpin the sources of amphorae: the latter did not travel alone. Even if not from the
same city as an amphora, a cooking pot or fine ware import could have been export-
ed through the same channels (its local major port) and may add to and strengthen
the impression we are building up of specific contacts with specific regions or ports.
The clues to regional ties and sources are in the complexity (or not) of fabrics and
variants. We then need to confirm the impression from afar (i.e. the importing city)
with work in the theoretical region or city of source.

The publication of ‘ linear typologies ’

Various examples of ‘linear’ evolution of amphorae and cooking pots have been out-
lined here. These represent in my view a continuity of traditions in the production of
specific ceramic types through generations of potters. Though this model will not ap-
ply to all ceramic production, in the sense that some forms were short-lived innova-
tions without a preceding ‘lineage’, the existence of long-lived series of forms is one
production ‘model’ that needs to be distinguished where possible. Indeed, I believe
that we should be looking for such continuities and that they offer invaluable clues as
to the economic dynamics of the city territories or regions in which such amphorae
and cooking pots were produced.
The restructuring of amphora and kitchen ware forms in the manner I have de-
scribed – that is by the linear development of long-lived forms – will create problems
of its own in the manner in which a pottery report is to be written and presented.
Throughout this article the words ‘form’ as well as ‘variant’ have been used to de-

1 Reynolds 2003b; Reynolds 2005a, cf. Map 2.

2 E.g. forms modeled on am 12/Agora m 334; the complex range of fossil shell fabric amphorae based
on the Amrit amphora; in the case of Butrint, the complex range of amphorae and fabrics that are related
to the Samos amphora class. 3 See Reynolds 2004a, for the amphorae of Samos and Ikaria.
4 Reynolds 2004a, Fig. 336c.
82 paul reynolds
scribe both the earliest and latest stages of evolution of a specific product, even
though the two extremes bear little resemblance to each other. As has been pointed
out to me, one cannot say that a 1st century ad Dragendorff 37 is the same ‘form’ as
its 5th century derivative Rigoir 18. Likewise, in human evolution one cannot say that
Australopithecus at one end of the scale of evolution and Homo Sapiens at the oth-
er are the same thing.1 The problem is one of terminology. ‘Form’ has come to de-
note the recognizable shape of a vessel, one that we ceramicists can recognize, label,
draw and identify in the field. If a ‘form’ is used to denote the whole range of shapes
of its evolution, like some type of morph, then this will probably lead to confusion.
We must, therefore, adapt the present methods of classification and publication to
best illustrate the phenomenon. Here, if the reader will excuse me, we must go back
to the basics. We have at our disposal the terms class, type, form and variant. The word
‘class’ was used by Peacock and Williams2 to classify 55 distinct amphorae, e.g. Dres-
sel 2-4 (reproduced all over the Roman Empire), Kapitän II or Late Roman Amphora
1. Interestingly (and surely erroneously according to such a system) the various evo-
lutionary stages of Dressel 1 (Dressel 1A, B and C) each received a separate class
Class is also used to denote the differing ceramic ‘classes’ of table wares, amphorae,
cooking wares, mortaria, etc. In short, it is a term that denotes the primary product
of a ‘classification’. More correctly stated, according to the Cambridge Advanced
Learners Dictionary, ‘classification’ is ‘to divide things into groups according to their
type’. Type is ‘a particular group of people or things which shares similar characteris-
tics and forms a smaller division of a larger set’. For example ‘what type of clothes or
car?’: ‘Clothes’ and ‘car’ being the class. In our case the class is an ‘amphora’ and not
its subdivisions, which are ‘types’ of amphorae. So the Dressel 1 is an amphora type,
as is the Beirut amphora. The subdivisions of the ‘Beirut amphora type’ and the
‘Dressel 1 type’ are ‘forms’ (in other words recognizable shapes). So if we follow the
strict rules of classification we can avoid confusion.
In conclusion, if the overall shape, e.g. the Beirut amphora, or the Beirut collar-
rimmed cooking pot, is the type, then the various stages of its development, the even-
tually radically changing shape, are the distinctive and classifiable forms through
which the type developed (e.g. Beirut 1, Beirut 2, to Beirut 8).
Variations at each stage, i.e. variations of the successive forms of that amphora or
cooking pot, are the variants of each form. These variants represent ‘horizontal’ vari-
ations of production either due to a multiplicity of workshops producing the same
form/stage of development, or due to variations within a single workshop. Differ-
ences in fabric, in other words, source of variants, will provide the necessary evidence
with which to ‘map’ the regional production of a specific form throughout the life-
span of a specific type, whether relatively short or long-lived.
The reader will be able to identify and trace the evolution of principal types and
their respective forms and associated variants if these are well labelled with a sequence
of numbers, e.g. Cooking pot 1.1A, 1.1B (i.e. variants A and B of cooking pot Type 1,
Form/i.e. Stage of evolution 1), CP 1.2, CP 1.3, to be distinguished from CP 2.1 or 3.1,

1 My thanks to Michel Bonifay and Miguel Angel Cau Ontiveros for these pertinent parallels.
2 Peacock-Williams 1986.
linear typologies and ceramic evolution 83
etc. This was done on a small scale in the publication of two 2nd century deposits from
Beirut.1 The numbering illustrates the stages of development or evolution of differ-
ent types through time.
The forthcoming publications of the classical pottery of Butrint and Beirut offer
the opportunity to put these new typological publication methods into practice on a
large scale. Similarly, it will enable us to test the extent to which linear typologies can
be reconstructed from site and regional assemblages.

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The seasonal study of ceramics that has been characteristic of international excavation proj-
ects overseas in the Mediterranean has led to the fragmentary collection of data. This has re-
sulted in a certain failure to appreciate that the amphorae and other ceramic forms are the re-
sult of long-lived continuous processes of evolution: ‘linear typologies’. Certain well known
‘forms’ represent in fact a few decades in the many centuries of production of a single am-
phora form. This is demonstrated in the case of three major amphora types, the Beirut am-
phora, Late Roman Amphora 1, and Agora m 334, the latter two types being formerly consid-
ered to be solely ‘Late Roman’ forms. The same processes are observed for certain cooking
linear typologies and ceramic evolution 87
forms. The linear, multi-stage development of certain Beirut and north Palestinian cooking
pots is paralleled by other close regional wares. The standard presentation of ceramic reports
takes the form of separate forms, with corresponding numbering sequences, sometimes pre-
sented as key deposits. The publication of long-lived pottery forms in the form of ‘linear ty-
pologies’ presents particular problems, but these must be overcome if we are to advance in
our understanding of the evolution of the regional economies that they represent.

Lo studio della ceramica antica così come avviato nei diversi progetti internazionali attivi ad
oggi nel Mediterraneo è stato caratterizzato spesso da un’ampia frammentazione di dati. Tut-
to ciò ha confermato che anfore e ceramiche fini da mensa ed altre forme ceramiche altro non
costituiscono che semplici anelli di un continuo e costante nel tempo processo di evoluzione
tipologica: quello che in questo contributo si è preferito definire “tipologia lineare”. Alcune
forme ceramiche ben conosciute durano, in realtà, pochi anni rispetto ai lunghi secoli di pro-
duzione di una singola forma anforica. Questo è stato dimostrato nel caso di tre principali ti-
pi anforici: la cosiddetta anfora di Beirut, la “Late Roman Amphora 1” e la forma “Agora m
334”. Le ultime due forme sono da considerare tipicamente “tardo-romane”. Lo stesso pro-
cesso di evoluzione lineare sembra osservabile per alcune forme di ceramica da cucina. Così
accade per lo sviluppo di alcuni vasi da cucina provenienti da Beirut o dall’area nord palesti-
nese che appaiono confrontabili con altre serie di tipo regionale. La presentazione standard
utilizzata in genere nell’edizione di materiali ceramici ha l’aspetto di forme separate, con cor-
rispondenti sequenze numeriche, talvolta presentati come depositi chiave. La pubblicazione
di forme ceramiche che hanno vissuto a lungo nel tempo nella formula delle “tipologie linea-
ri” presenta particolari problemi, ma questi devono e possono essere superati se noi proce-
diamo nella loro conoscenza evolutiva all’interno dello sviluppo dell’economia regionale che
esse stesse rappresentano.
composto in car attere dante monotype dalla
accademia editoriale, pisa · roma.
stampato e rilegato nella
tipo gr afia di agnano, agnano pisano (pisa).

Marzo 2009
(cz 2 · fg 21)

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