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transport amphora / handle

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Oval handle from a transport amphora. Clay medium non-micaceous red-brown; mixed inclusions. Rectangular stamp at top of handle with Greek inscription and prow symbol.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 325BC-275BC (circa)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 6.1 centimetres (Max preserved)
    • Height: 4.6 centimetres (Handle)
    • Width: 2.7 centimetres (Handle)
    • Width: 1.7 millimetres (Stamp)
    • Height: 1.4 millimetres (Stamp)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        control mark
      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Position

        top of handle
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Translation

      • Inscription Comment

        Rectangular stamp. Prow symbol.
  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    24 July 2000

    Reason for treatment


    Treatment proposal

    Remove Salts and clean handles.


    The amphora handle is in poor condition overall. The surface is obscured with a covering of white crystalline salt. There is a layer of dirt and dust on the surface.

    Treatment details

    A sample of the white crystalline salt was taken by Conservation Research. X-Ray Diffraction was used to identify the salt. "The salt is a mixed salt and contains methanoate, nitrate, and chloride ions in the ratio 3:2:1. The formation of the salt has been promoted by the outgassing of methanoic acid from the wood of its storage box. This reacts with soluble salts at or near the surface of the objects. The outgassing has been promoted by the very high temperature in the room. The temperature has increased following diversion of services for the Great Court Project." (Sue Bradley,2000) Desalination of the handle was not considered necessary as the factors affecting the cause of the salts had been identified. The handle was examined visually using the microscope at x20 magnification. The salts were removed under the microscope using a soft brush. Care was taken that the surface of the handle was unaffected. Once the salts were removed the surface was cleaned using Rowney's kneadable putty rubber (vulcanized rubber) and Wishab.

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

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Object reference number: GAA72128

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