An amphora was a jar used in Roman times to transport and store liquids such as oil or water. This replica of a clay Roman amphora was used in the Holy Land during Biblical times. Amphora have a particular shape with a neck that is narrower than the body of the jar and usually 2 handles. Typically, at this time, they also had a pointed or spiked end. They ranged in size from a few inches up to almost 5 feet in height. Their contents could be sealed with a stopper and because of the handles, they could be lashed together with a rope or cord. This prevented breakage during travel by cart, horse, camel or ship. Because of their shape, they could be packed tightly together and stacked on top of one another with ropes securing them.
One of the reasons for the cone shaped or spiked bottom instead of a flat surface is that they could be stored in a household in one of 2 ways. They could be placed in a rack with round holes which kept them upright and there was no worry of spillage. As many of the tents and homes sat directly on the ground, these jugs could also be placed in a hole in the ground. This again kept the liquids from being knocked over and spilled. Usually an amphora held such liquids as olive oil, water, or wine.
This particular size replica of an amphora was probably used for personal use and not for heavy commercial transport. It is too small. It could have held maybe a fish sauce or a fruit sauce for food. The size varies from about 7 inches to 8 inches. This is because these replicas are true replicas. They are made by hand, one at a time in the Holy Land. The size is dependent today as 2000 years ago upon how much clay the potter uses. Each amphora is unique, each is slightly different from one another. Colors may vary from tan to red and the placements of the handles, and the length of the neck may vary slightly from one to another. These are not machine made but individual works of art.
Please note that these jugs are not glazed. They are terra cotta. These are for decorative purposes only. Each amphora comes with a 3 legged stand for display and a description.
These were imported from the Holy Land by Osmun Gifts.