Naukratis: Greeks in Egypt

Alexandra Villing, Marianne Bergeron, Giorgos Bourogiannis, Alan Johnston, François Leclère, Aurélia Masson and Ross Thomas

With Daniel von Recklinghausen, Jeffrey Spencer, Valerie Smallwood, Virginia Webb and Susan Woodford

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Supported by

The Leverhulme Trust
  • The Shelby White - Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications
  • Christian Levett and the Mougins Museum of Classical Art
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Ptolemaic, Roman and Byzantine amphorae and stoppers


Ross Iain Thomas

Amphorae are common, distinctive and now a well understood field of archaeological study, constituting a major aspect of research into Hellenistic and Roman archaeology. Amphora sherds are commonly encountered walking through Naukratis to this day. However, they are relatively scarce within the assemblage collected by Petrie, Gardner and Hogarth, which is discussed alongside the subsequent research undertaken by Coulson and Leonard and recent fieldwork undertaken by the British Museum. The identification and provenance of amphorae can provide the source and contents of liquid commodities reaching cities such as Naukratis. This data enables us to track the changing sources of wine and oil that were consumed at Naukratis. The study of amphora stoppers allows one to check whether amphorae have been recycled locally and to associate quantifiable ceramic data with qualifiable epigraphic data concerning traders and agents involved in the transport of liquid goods; together the economy of Naukratis can be assessed in comparison with other major settlements in the region and further afield.


Egyptian terracotta stamp for amphora stopper seals depicting grapes in a basket flanked by wine amphorae, dated c. 200–30 BC. British Museum, 1886,0401.1367