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Stratum plus. 2017. No6

P. Balabanov (Sofia, Bulgaria)

Amphorae with Englyphic Stamps: traditions and problems

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Pages: 293-320

The article offers a critical review of the traditional models for interpretation of the origin and definitions for identification of chronological and typological groups of englyphic stamps found in the Black Sea region. The author supports presence of various interactions in the following chain: production of containers, production of goods, commercial operations. He also considers possibility of various forms of government control over these relations. He points out that the traditional localization of the center which produced amphorae with englyphic stamps could only be a hypothetical construction. He reviews the criteria used by different researchers to determine typological and chronological groups of amphorae and disputes the tendency of some researchers to obtain such accuracy of the dating, which is impossible to substantiate. Some arguments are offered to disprove the idea that the stamps can be considered as an evidence of magistrate's powers and eponymic functions. Examples are introduced, when the stamps were written over in the interval between their application and baking of the vessel, which tells about some dynamic relations between the persons whose names were used to mark the amphorae. Based on the studied materials, the author concludes that practically all definitions underlying the traditional models for interpretation of the englyphic stamps are highly hypothetical. He points out a growing mismatch between these models and the new finds and suggests some promising directions for a deeper analysis of this type of amphorae and stamps, including some modern methods of chemical analysis of the clays they were made of.

Keywords: Black Sea region, antiquity, 4th—3rd centuries BC, amphorae with englyphic stampa, dating, relative chronology, models of interpretation

Information about author:

Petar Balabanov
(Sofia, Bulgaria). Doctor of Historical Sciences.
E-mail: [email protected]

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