Due to a lack of space this amphora is not currently on display in the Museum but we thought it would be a good idea to use our blog to display objects from our store room which are not on display in the Malton goes to Market exhibition.
The object was initially very difficult to identify due to its strange shape but it was eventually found to be the base of a large amphora used by the Roman’s to transport goods around the Roman empire. This type of amphora was commonly used to transport wine, oil and fish sauce.
Amphorae were built to be very robust as well as being easy to stack and to pour liquids out of which would be very useful when it came to the ease of transporting goods, and amphorae would often be re-used even after being emptied of their original content.
The discovery of these amphorae is important to our understanding of trade routes used by Roman merchants as they can give us a lot of evidence of where the Romans traded goods and what was traded in each location.
This Amphora was made by a Spanish potter, G Antonius Quietus, whose stamps have been found elsewhere in Britain suggesting that Britain was importing a large amount of Spanish goods during this time period, and showing a strong link between Malton and the rest of the Roman world.
Rome’s unique position on the Mediterranean as well as Romes highly sophisticated economy meant that trade was a huge part of Roman life and of the empire itself. One of the largest benefits of life in the Roman empire was access to this vast trade network which spread Roman made goods over vast distances across and even beyond the Mediterranean.