We can determine the etymological origin of this word that it is found in Latin, in the term “amphora”. However, this, in turn, derives from the Greek “amphoreus”, which was what it was called a vessel that had two handles and had a capacity of approximately 26 liters.
The concept allows to allude to a container what has two handles or handles.
According to the first meaning mentioned by the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) in his dictionary, an amphora is a pitcher (vessel, vase) of a narrow and elongated shape, that has an extensive neck and that ends in a point. This vessel was very popular in the Roman empire and in the Ancient Egypt.
The oldest vessels would date back to 15th century BC. The Aegeans were the first to use them and then the Romans, Greeks and others joined. towns. At that time, amphoras were used to store and transport various food products: oils, wines, cereals, olives, etc.
Most of the amphorae were made with ceramics, although there were also metal amphoras. Its use was massive until the 7th century. Then packaging made with leather or wood began to become popular.
Among the most important ancient amphoras that have managed to keep over time we can highlight some like these:
-Amphora of Dipilon. It dates from the year 750 BC, is Greek and is considered to have a marked tardogeometric style. Today it is considered the great work of the master of Dipilon, who was a painter specializing in Greek vases. Today it is part of the collection of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens and stands out because it is completely covered with traditional motifs, abstract elements and ornaments. In the area of the handles there are a total of 39 human figures represented.
-Amphora of Exequias. This work is made of clay, a vase that dates from around 435 BC.It is of archaic Greek style, it is today in the Vatican Museum in Rome and it comes to represent a scene in which the gods Achilles and Ajax are playing cards. dice while holding their weapons. His technique is the call of black figures. As its own name is made by Exequias, who was a painter and ceramist who is considered one of the best artists of this aforementioned technique.
Notably, the amphorae also gave rise to various capacity measurements. Among the Romans, an amphora was equivalent to 26.2 liters. The weight that the amphorae were filled with water, on the other hand, was equivalent to a talent: a measure of weight that was also used as a unit of currency.
Beyond these specifications, types amphoras were numerous. It is known as Panathenaic amphora, for example, to the ceramic container that stored the olive oil that was awarded as a prize in the framework of the Panathenaic Games.