Specialized Shapes

The particular shape, size, and handle configuration of a Roman transport amphora often indicates the source and type of foodstuffs it once contained. The chemical composition of the clay can identify the area of the Roman Empire where the amphora was made.

The clay of this amphora has not been tested, but the distinctive shape suggests that it is from Spain, then part of the Roman province of Hispania. Spanish-made amphorae of this type were often used to ship garum, a pungent fish sauce popular with Roman diners throughout the empire.