Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Amphora

The Etruscans have been a constant discussion topic since we arrived in Castiglion Fiorentino. Their advanced techniques and practices continue to amaze me. On Wednesday, May 30, 2012, we visited the Archaeological Museum in the city of Cortona. While walking through the various exhibits, I spotted an object that looked very familiar, an amphora. In our second lecture, we discussed and observed how the Egyptians, Greeks, and the Etruscans used amphorae to preserve, store, and transport some of their resources and products.  An amphora is a clay, vase-like piece of pottery that has two handles on opposite sides of the mouth. The container stored and protected goods like olives, grapes, oil, and wine. One of the main distinguishing features of an amphora compared to a typical ancient pot is the tapered base. This unique base was buried in the earth to keep the contents inside at their optimum temperature, seeing as the ancient people did not have a means of refrigeration. The pottery also kept the juices and liquids from getting spoiled by the sun, dirt, and other elements. The shape of the container also made it easier to transport over long distances. Although the pottery could not stand on its own, the ancient people would string ropes through the handles of the vases to transfer them from place to place. This practice shows how advanced and  impressive  the ancient people were. Their techniques are irreplaceable building blocks for modern day society. Some of their innovations are still used today with little or no change of the process. I can’t wait to learn and discover more about the founders of this beautiful country. I believe they are going to keep telling us more and more about their ways as time passes and more history is revealed.

1 comment:

  1. How pleasant to read such a fine series of posts and photos. As a Classicist who has worked on recreating an ancient Roman garden, this was very valuable and interesting.


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