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neck amphora

The standard neck amphora has a small ovoid body and looped handles reaching from the shoulder to the neck.

History: The neck amphora has a long and early history in Greek pottery. It is one of the new leading shapes that comes to dominate the Protogeometric period after the catastrophic events which took place in the Mycenaean world at the end of the twelfth century.

The Protgeometric shape is remodelled from the Mycenaean shape, having a plump globular body, and a concave flaring neck. The handles are set horizontally on the belly. In the Geometric period the shape of the body is narrower, straighter, with the neck becoming taller. The handles continue to be placed on the belly. It is in the High Geometric period that the neck amphora achieves the greatest art form, that of the monumental grave vase. These amphorae stand as tall as 1.55 meters, with the neck forming about one-third the total height. In the Late Geometric period the amphorae with neck handles, a successor to the belly handled neck amphorae, begins to appear. These handles usually reach up vertically to the neck from the shoulder. A typical feature of the Late Geometric type is the exaggeration of the neck, which can be up to three-quarters the size of the body. The range of subjects depicted on Geometric vases are funerary, and associated themes, though in the Late Geometric period religious festivals, dancing, hunting, and some mythological scenes appear.

The late Geometric phase lasts to about 710 B.C. A t this time both Geometric and Early Attic workshops are in operation, and Geometric ornamentation is beginning to decline. A new style of decoration is visible on the Early Attic neck amphorae, and the vessels themselves undergo change; the body becomes more slender, the neck and the body are combined more harmoniously. The handles continue from the shoulder to midway on the neck. These handles may be filled and pierced, or they may be a plain strap. The neck amphora assumes its standard form at the first half of the sixth century.

Term: This amphora is so-named in modern times because of its offset neck, as opposed to the continuous curve of the belly, or one-piece amphora.

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