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Grecian Amphorae Import in the Region of the Bug River and Carpathian Mountains

Author: Natalia Mateevici
Degree:doctor of history
Speciality: 07.00.06 - Archaeology
Scientific adviser: Ion Niculiţă
doctor habilitat, professor, Moldova State University
Scientific council:


The thesis was presented on the 15 December, 2004
Approved by NCAA on the 24 February, 2005


Adobe PDF document0.33 Mb / in romanian


amphora, amphora stamp, englific stamp, relief stamp, chore, centre of production, kantharos, astynom, eponym, mouth of a vase, necropolis, settlement, complex of tumuli, autochthonous, barbarian, Hellenism, tumulus, site of ancient settlement, magistrate, settled tribes, polis, Pontus Euxinus, the Black Sea Region, market, engobe, legend, emblem, ethnikon


The given work concerns spreading of Grecian amphorae in the barbarian world in the region of Bug and Carpathian Mountains.

Amphorae presented a bulk of ancient ceramic vessels. They were used for storing and transportation of wine and olive oil. Although Grecian amphorae were met here earlier – in the 7th century B. C. in the northwestern coast of the Black Sea, - they were not goods at that time and their availability here was not appropriate. On the basis of archaeological research including finds of amphorae we can say that Grecian goods began to penetrate into this region only from the 2nd half of the 6th century B. C.

In the result of analysis of Grecian amphorae spreading three stages of the development of Grecian-Barbarian trade relations were determined in this work. The first one presents a beginning of this relation and includes the 2nd half of the 6th century – the 5th century B. C.

In this stage only 6 Grecian centres supplied the region with their production, and the presence of Grecian amphorae only in 21 monuments was determined. The second period covers the 4th – the first half of the 3rd century B. C. being the peak of the Grecian-Barbarian trade relations. Not only Mediterranean centres of production but also Pontic ones took part in this process; their number reached 14. The quantity of Barbarian monuments in which Grecian amphorae presented mounted to 71. The third stage includes the second half of the 3rd – the beginning of the 2nd century B. C. It corresponds to the period when trade relations among the Greeks and the indigenous population of the region of Bug and the Carpathian Mountains began to fall into decay. In the market of the north-western Pontic coast a few centres remained, among which there is Rhodos. The number of monuments with the presence of amphorae reduced as well – 35.

The work is divided into an introduction, three chapters, a conclusion and an appendix consisting of 37 illustrations and their list, 18 maps, and a catalogue of 350 stamps on amphorae.

In the 1st chapter the description of all Grecian centres of export known in the north-western coast of the Black Sea is given and the description of all types of amphorae according to the centres of production, metric data and morphological criteria is presented as well.

Besides, the descriptions of all types of stamps on amphorae met in the region are given here in chronological order and by centres of production. There are the descriptions of stamps from Thasos, Heraklea, Sinope, Chersones, Rhodos, Kos, Akanth, Knid, and Pharos.

In the 2nd chapter for every chronological period a material discovered in the result of archaeological excavations is presented and its typology and chronology is given. Beside the material known by earlier publications a bulk of unpublished material is included to the given work.

In the 3rd chapter in the result of analysis of spreading of amphorae some suppositions concerned the intensity of currency of amphorae in the region under review in the 4th –early 2nd century B. C. are given. It is analyzed the influence of trade relations with the Greek on social, economic, and cultural development of the Barbarian.

A small number of Barbarian monuments situated between Dniester and the right bank of South Bug are explained by their insufficient exploration, but not by their absence. The main systematically researched monuments in the region were attributed to Olbia, but Barbarian monuments were not under review. Unfortunately, even if in some monuments there is some data concerned the presence of Grecian amphorae, it is of little interest and significance and cannot serve as a source for the research.