added by archaeologs
A large two-handled storage jar, made of plain pottery, with a rather plump cross-section. The neck and mouth of the pot are narrow, while at the base there is either a conventional platform, fairly broad and thick for stability, or, perhaps more frequently, a blunt-pointed taper, to facilitate setting the vesseel into the ground or for ease of tipping when used on a flat surface. Plain examples were mass-produced in the Greek and Roman world, and universally used for the bulk transport and storage of liquids, notably wine and olive oil. The container would be sealed when full, and the handle usually carried an amphora stamp, impressed before firing, giving details such as the source, the potter's name, the date and the capacity. Amphorae cannot have been of much commercial value and were probably not normally re-used, as witness for instance the so-called Monte Testaccio (Pot Mountain), the great mound of shattered pottery behind the warehouses that lined the River Tiber in classical times, near the present-day Porta San Paolo.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983
A large Greek or Roman earthenware storage jar, with a narrow neck and mouth and two handles (two-eared"; each called an anem) at the top. The body of the jar is usually oval and long with a pointed bottom. It was used for holding or transporting liquids especially wine or oil and other substances such as resin. Its shape made it easy to handle and ideal for tying onto a mule's or donkey's back. They were often placed side-by-side in upright positions in a sand-floored cellar. Sinking it into the sand or ground kept the contents cool. Amphorae were also made of glass onyx gold stone and brass and some had conventional jar bottoms with a flat surface. The container would be sealed when full and the handle usually carried an amphora stamp impressed before firing giving details such as the source the potter's name the date and the capacity. Amphorae were probably not normally re-used."