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Amphorae designed for marine transport, taken from shipwrecks of the Bronze Age, on display in the Museum of Underwater Archaeology at Bodrum Castle, Turkey.
The museum archaeologists have devised a rack and roping device to illustrate how the cargo might have been kept from shifting.
Painted stamps, tituli picti, recorded the weight of the container and the contents, and were applied after the amphora was filled.
Stoppers of perishable materials, which have rarely survived, were used to seal the contents.
Two principal types of amphorae existed: the neck amphora, in which the neck and body meet at a sharp angle; and the one-piece amphora, in which the neck and body form a continuous curve.
Ventris and Chadwick's translation is "carried on both sides." Amphorae varied greatly in height.
The largest stands as tall as 1.5 metres (5 ft) high, while some were fewer than 30 centimetres (12 in) high - the smallest were called amphoriskoi (literally "little amphorae"). There was a significant degree of standardisation in some variants; the wine amphora held a standard measure of about 39 litres (41 US qt), giving rise to the amphora quadrantal as a unit of measure in the Roman Empire.
The base facilitated transport by ship, where the amphorae were packed upright or on their sides in as many as five staggered layers.