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Amphorae are of great use to maritime archaeologists, as they often indicate the age of a shipwreck and the geographic origin of the cargo.

They are occasionally so well preserved that the original content is still present, providing information on foodstuffs and mercantile systems.

Most were produced with a pointed base to allow upright storage by embedding in soft ground, such as sand.

The base facilitated transport by ship, where the amphorae were packed upright or on their sides in as many as five staggered layers.

Homer uses the long form for metrical reasons, and Herodotus has the short form.

Ventris and Chadwick's translation is "carried on both sides." Amphorae varied greatly in height.

The museum archaeologists have devised a rack and roping device to illustrate how the cargo might have been kept from shifting.

Below: Panathenaic prize amphora in the black-figure style, showing the goddess Athena An amphora (Greek: ἀμφορεύς, amphoréus; English plural: amphorae or amphoras) is a type of container of a characteristic shape and size, descending from at least as early as the Neolithic Period.

It is remarkable that even though the Etruscans imported, manufactured, and exported amphorae extensively in their wine industry, and other Greek vase names were Etruscanized, no Etruscan form of the word exists.

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