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J. Theodore Peña

Amphorae were large ceramic jars employed in the Roman world for the packaging and transport of a limited set of liquid and semi-liquid foodstuffs—chiefly wine, olive oil, and various kinds of fish preserves and processed fish products—and certain other substances. They were manufactured in a large number of distinct shapes—generally referred to as classes—linked to specific regions and employed for specific kinds of contents. For this reason amphorae are treated by scholars as proxy markers for the distribution of these categories of foodstuffs and, on account of their abundance and ubiquity in the archaeological record, they constitute one of the most important forms of material evidence for economic activity in the Roman world from the 3rd century bce down to the end of antiquity.We possess a wide range of evidence relating to amphorae. The remains of workshops in which amphorae were manufactured have been identified in many parts of the Roman world, and many of these have been subject to surface investigations and/or excavation. Amphorae occur in abundance on archaeological sites in most parts of the Roman world, most often in fragmentary condition, though in some cases more or less intact. These include amphora production workshops, sites relating to their filling or distribution (food processing/packaging facilities, .


Janet DeLaine

Monte Testaccio, an artificial hill, 36 m. (118 ft.) high and covering roughly 22,000 sq. m. (26,300 sq. yds.), in the Emporium district of Rome south of the *Aventine near the *Tiber. It is composed entirely of broken *amphorae dating from the 1st to the mid-3rd century ce, mostly oil amphorae from *Baetica in Spain with a smaller amount from North Africa, analysis of which has contributed to debate on the Roman economy.


Michael Crawford

There are two related stories about Roman coinage: the one of its internal evolution, and the other of its progressive domination of the Mediterranean world, its use throughout the Roman empire, and finally its fragmentation into the coinages of the successor kingdoms in the west and the Byzantine empire in the east.Rome under the kings and in the early republic managed without a coinage, like the other communities of central Italy, with the episodic exception of some Etruscan cities; *bronze by weight, aes rude (see aes), with a pound of about 324 g. (11.5 oz.) as the unit, served as a measure of value, no doubt primarily in the assessment of fines imposed by a community in the process of substituting public law for private retribution; this stage of Roman monetary history is reflected in the *Twelve Tables. The progressive extension of Roman hegemony over central Italy brought booty in the form of *gold, *silver, and bronze; the means to create a coinage on the Greek model were at hand.