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tyrrhenian amphora



A type of neck amphora.

Shape: The characteristic shape is that with a long ovoid-shaped body on a spreading inverted echinus shaped-foot. The thick squat neck has a raised collar at the juncture of the neck and the body.

History: This type is produced during the second quarter of the sixth century B.C. The preserved examples number nearly two hundred, so this type comprises the largest single group produced in these years. Made by the Athenians for export, perhaps filled with prime Attic oil, and aimed at a market which had been conditioned to the wares of Corinth, the Tyrrhenian amphora takes its name from that area in Italy, north of Rome, where they were found ( and once believed to have been made). The Etruscans, especially those in the cities of Vulci and Caere, had been good customers, ready for Corinthian wares, and the Athenians, wishing to capture this rich market, produced pottery modeled on the Corinthian type. The shape chosen was a good one, one not used by the Corinthians, and the scheme of decoration resembled that of Corinth; the amphorae are decorated in black against a reddish-tan clay background, with added purple and white paints applied over black for details, much like that of the Corinthian wares. The subsidiary decoration takes the form of floral and animal friezes, while the main parts of the body are decorated with bands of scenes from myths and other genre scenes, reflecting Athenian taste for the narrative. Inscriptions, some intelligibly inscribed, others often nonsensical, litter the field.





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