Roman shipwreck amphora, Type Dressel 1B


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ITEMShipwreck amphora, Type Dressel 1B
CULTURERoman, Republican period
PERIOD2nd – 1st Century B.C
DIMENSIONS110 cm x 29 cm (without stand), 117 cm x 29 cm (with stand)
CONDITIONGood condition. Small restorations in the handles and a crack in the lower part of the piece, the crack is superficial, the piece is not damaged inside and its condition is not in danger. See pictures. Includes stand
PROVENANCEEx Belgian private collection, S., Ghent, Ex C. Varosi Gallery, Brussels (1999)

Roman amphoras of the Dressel 1 type represent a significant archaeological find that sheds light on ancient Roman trade and transportation practices. Named after the German archaeologist Heinrich Dressel, who first categorized them in the late 19th century, Dressel 1 amphoras were widely used for the storage and transportation of goods throughout the Roman Empire, particularly during the 1st century BCE and the early 1st century CE.

Characterized by their distinctive shape and design, Dressel 1 amphoras typically feature a long, cylindrical body with a pointed or rounded bottom, a narrow neck, and two small handles positioned near the neck. They were primarily used for the transport of liquid goods such as wine, olive oil, and fish sauce, although they were occasionally employed for solid commodities as well. The capacity of Dressel 1 amphoras varied, but they typically held between 20 to 30 liters of liquid.

Archaeological evidence suggests that Dressel 1 amphoras were produced in large quantities at specialized pottery workshops located in various regions of the Roman Empire, including Italy, Gaul (modern-day France), Spain, and North Africa. The widespread distribution of these vessels indicates the extensive network of trade and commerce that connected different parts of the empire. Moreover, the presence of stamped markings on Dressel 1 amphoras, such as potter’s marks or symbols indicating the origin and quality of the contents, provides valuable information for researchers studying ancient Roman economic activity and commercial practices. Overall, Dressel 1 amphoras serve as important artifacts that contribute to our understanding of ancient Roman trade, transportation, and consumption patterns.