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Type A amphora

History: The large neck amphora of the late seventh century is derived from the Protoattic shape and continues to be a popular shape, though in a much smaller version, in both black and red figure pottery. The earliest examples of the type A amphora vary as to the shape of the foot and the mouth, always undergoing remodelling and refinement. The usual form in the first half of the sixth century has a small egg-shaped body, tapering at the foot. There are simple cylindrical handles looped from the shoulder to the mid-neck. Soon after the mid-century, the common form has triple-reeded handles , and the body's center of gravity is a bit higher. But once the shape was evolved and became standardized, the lip was echinus-shaped and the foot torus. It enjoyed great popularity during the late period of black figure, lasting from the second quarter of the sixth century down to about 440 B.C.

A more elaborate version of the older neck-less amphora, Type B, is the Type A. This shape appears about 550 B.C. and lasts to about 450 B.C. It is thought that the potter Exekias was responsible for the development of this shape (he worked on both neck-less and neck amphorae). The lip is distinctly concave, and the neck and the shoulder are slightly longer. The belly is less tense than that of the Type B amphora. The strap handles have flanges and decorated edges (usually an ivy tendril). The foot is in two degrees, the lower with a convex profile and the upper with a vertical edge. There is a fillet between the foot and the base of the body. The decoration consists of two panels, one on the front, and one on the reverse, of the vases. They are set a bit lower on the body than on the Type B amphora. Sometimes a palmette appears in a reserved zone below each handle.

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