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The Past

2,000 - 200 years ago
Rhodian amphora handles

Ancient Greece was a major producer of wine in antiquity and no island was more famous for its wines than Rhodes. Large Rhodian wine jars, known by the Greek name amphora, had pointed bottoms for stacking on merchant ships and two large, strap handles for easy transportation. Of great importance for archaeologists is the fact that the handles were stamped. One handle was stamped with the name of the manufacturer and the month of manufacture according to the Rhodian calendar, while the other bore the name of the dating authority or 'eponym', i.e. a bureaucrat whose name was given to a particular year. This information, even when fragmentary, has enabled Classical archaeologists to reconstruct the names and chronology of Rhodian amphora manufacturers with a high degree of accuracy. The discovery at Mileiha of two Rhodian amphora handle fragments bearing the name of a manufacturer, Iasonos (Jason), known to have been active in the early second century BC, and the name of the month of manufacture, panamou Antigonou, dated in the year of a magistrate who was in office between c. 220-180 BC, has been one of the most important finds for determining the early chronology of the settlement there.

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