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Transport Amphorae And Trade In The Eastern Mediterranean

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Transport amphorae were chosen as the theme of this colloquium because of their great potential for elucidating ancient economic history. As Peacock and Williams have noted, amphorae provide us not with anindex of the transportation of goods, but with direct witness of the movement of certain foodstuffs which were of considerable economic importance…. It is hard to conceive of any archaeological material better suited to further our understanding of Roman trade. The same could be said with equal conviction about Hellenistic trade. However, while the study of transport amphorae was already an established discipline in the 19th century, it has traditionally focused on amphora stamps. Even in the 1970s, excavators in the eastern Mediterranean were still disregarding-and even discarding-unstamped fragments. Yet if amphora studies remain somewhat in the realm of epigraphy, they have also seen a great deal of activity in the last decade and drawn increasing attention from archaeologists, historians and other researchers. Jonas Eiring and John Lund are both classical archaeologists. Lund is a curator at the National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen.

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