Potsherd: Atlas of Roman Pottery

Almagro 54 (Gaza) amphoras

A cylindical `cigar-shaped' amphora with two small loop handles and coarse ribbing on the lower body in a rough fabric. Produced in the Gaza district of Palestine and widely distributed around the Mediterranean during the 4th to 7th centuries.

Roman Amphorae: a digital resource
(University of Southampton, 2005. doi:10.5284/1000021) Pages include details of typology, chronology, distribution, epigraphy and hi-resolution images of thin-sections.
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Fabric and technology

Hard, rough fabric, with abundant sand and limestone temper; varying somewhat in colour, but often with a dark brown (5YR 5/6) surface.


Cylindrical amphora, usually described as ‘cigar shaped’, with loop handles on the shoulders, tapering towards base, usually with heavy ribbing on upper body. Majchereck (1995) defines four sub-classes, varing from examples with a rather bulging profile (form 1) to a taller, more slender variety (form 4).


Principal exports are from 4th to early 7th c. AD, but production from 1st c AD.


The Gaza district of Palestine, perhaps with some production in surrounding districts.


Wide distribution around the Mediterranean; occasional in Gaul and Britain.


Augst class 60. Keay class LIV. Peacock and Williams class 49 (Kuzmanov XIV, Carthage LR4, Gaza). British (Tintagel) class Bvi.


Typology, production and dating: Majchereck 1995. Distribution: Thomas 1981; Riley 1979; Bonifay and Villedieu 1989; Reynolds 1995, 71-83.


Bonifay and Villedieu 1989. Bonifay, M. and Villedieu, F., ‘Importations d’amphores orientales en Gaule (Ve-VIIe siècles)’ in Recherches sur la céramique Byzantine, ed. V. Déroche and J.-M. Spieser, BCHsuppl, 18, (1989), pp. 17-46.

Majchereck 1995. Majchereck, G., ‘Gazan amphore: typology reconsidered’ in Hellenistic and roman pottery in the Eastern Mediterranean – Advances in scientific studies. Acts of the II Nieborów pottery worskhop, ed. H. Meyza and J. Mlynarczyk, Research Centre for Mediterranean Archaeology. Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, (1995), pp. 163-178.

Reynolds 1995. Reynolds, P., Trade in the Western Mediterranean, AD 400-700: The ceramic aevidence, BAR International Series, 604, Tempvs Reparatvm, Oxford, (1995).

Riley 1979. Riley, J. A., ‘The coarse pottery from Benghazi’ in Excavations at Sidi Khrebish, Benghazi (Berenice). II, ed. J. A. Lloyd, Supplements to Libya Antiqua, 5, Department of Antiquities, Tripoli, (1979), pp. 91-497.

Thomas 1981. Thomas, C., A provisional list of imported pottery in Post-Roman Britain and Ireland, Special report, 7, Institute of Cornish Studies, Redruth, (1981).

Distribution of Almagro 54 (Gaza) amphoras in Britain
National Roman Fabric Reference Collection
(Dore & Tomber 1998, Museum of London Archaeology Service Monograph 2)
  • Fabric code: GAZ AM (Gaza amphorae, p.96).
Thumbnail images
Almagro 54 (Gaza) amphoras
URL: http://potsherd.net/atlas/Ware/GAZA • © Text 1996, 2014: Layout 2012, 2014. Some images may be linked to other web sites.