- THE FIRST PERIOD EAST MEDITERRANEAN COMMERCIAL AMPHORAS - 1 -

 
 
One day my friend asked me "an amphora is a double handled vase, how come you collect these?" I was just about to answer when he went on: "Do you like the amphoras just because (drawing the ideal woman with his hands) they are similar to these?" I said it was nothing about it. He asked me why I was spending my time and money on them.
I answered he knew why. He said "I do, but how many other people know, except me? At least start writing for somewhere." After my friend had left, I put a pen on the paper and wrote the heading on the top with capital letters.
My aim here is to take you to the mysterious and the deep blue history of the amphoras.
 

 
Why East-West Mediterranean Amphoras: The ones interested in amphoras are certainly aware that when the amphora specialists classify the amphoras, they use the term "The West Mediterranean' or "The East Mediterranean Commercial Amphoras.' The centre of the allcation between East and West is the Italian peninsula. The amphoras on the west side of the line from the east point of Italy towards Africa (Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and northwest of Africa) are called the West Mediterranean; and the ones left on the east side of the line are called the East Mediterranean Amphoras. How about the Black Sea amphoras? In which category are they? I will write about the Black Sea amphoras the next time.
Why do we use the term "commercial amphora"? Because when they were made for the first time, they were made for decorative usage and for transportation. The decorative amphoras were unique and original and were exactly painted by an artist. In these paintings the subjects were mythological and epical, the colors used were black and red. These kinds of decorative amphoras, mostly from Grek and West Anatolia, reflect many important informations about the life and belief in the ancient era.
 

     
The History of Amphoras Start With the History of Baked Soil: According to the historians, the history of creation which started in Mesopotamia or Egypt, expanded to the Eagean Islands and to Greek. According to Martin Bernal, the philologist and specialist on the East Mediterranean civilizations, the making of pots without wheels started in Mesopotamia in the fourth thousand year.

Egypt showed a great development in the third thousand year with the help of India and Mesopotamia. In Anatolia, the baked soil is used for the first time around 6000 BC. in Hacilar village in Burdur. Many pots and pans, goddess idols were found in the excavations made here. On these Works of art, there were geometrical motives of this age.
The Amphora Production Increased With Trade and Wealth: The need to design and produce amphoras accured when the trade on land became insufficent and when people started trading over seas.
 

     

 
In historical order, the Egyptians, the Phoenicians, the Syrians, the Greece and the Anatolians, the first nations that sailed overseas, felt the need to put their goods they wanted to Exchange, in a kind of pot. The worries about the pots covering the minimum space, being carried easily, being safe in order not to be broken by the waves has shaped the first forms of amphoras. In those and the following ages, the trade by seaway is so alive that among the coasts of the Mediterranean, occured common cultures, effections and similarities. As it is understood, the oldest amphoras in the world are the Mediterranean amphoras and these are the prototips of the West Mediterranean and the Black Sea amphoras.
 

 
Each Unique Amphora is the Symbol of Where It is Produced and What it Carries: Maybe this is the most important factor that force met o collect amphoras. No amphora produced could decide about the amphoras shape on his own will. The form of each amphora was shaped after an experience of hundreds of years and besides the shape, its measurements were determined by the laws. That is why, each amphora is a symbol, is a flag of a production of some nation or region. The oldest amphoras are found in Troy and Egypt. In Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic eras, there was the dominance of Greek, Anatolian and Island amphoras in the Aegean and the Mediterranean. In those ages, increasing trade by seaway increased the need for amphoras and every region produced its own peculiar form of amphora.
     
     
     
     
     
     
   

- Top of the page -