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Балабанов П. Заметки об амфорах с энглифическими клеймами //Античный мир и археология. 2013. Т. 16, вып. 16. С. 240-254.

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Заметки об амфорах с энглифическими клеймами

Балабанов Петър, независимый исследователь

Amphorae with englyphic stamps have been known for more than 200 years. This class of products is characterized by several features that distinguish them from the mass production of amphorae in ancient Hellas, such as quality of the clay, technology used for marking, major differences in the quality of the finished products. Another important feature is the relatively short period of their production and use, spanning about one hundred years, and the dynamics of their appearance and disappearance.

A number of issues related to their classification and interpretation continue to spark debates, for example their origin from the Pontic Heraclea has recently been questioned. An analysis of the names from this type of stamps shows that in the polis where they have been produced, the main population was of Doric origin. A little fewer were the people with Ionic origin, and possibly a substantial number of citizens of the polis even had non-Greek origin. The main worshiped deities were Heracles, Apollo and Dionysus. An analysis of the geographical distribution of the finds enables us to surmise two major mechanisms of trade. Obviously, some of these amphorae have been issued in large compact batches consisting of vessels with the same markings, while others constituted small batches. In the first case, the archaeological site contains large series of vessels with identical stamps, and in the second case, most often, collections of stamps with different content.

In previous attempts to interpret the contents of englyphic stamps with two names, the mechanism that led to their emergence was assumed to be the same as the one that took place on the islands of Thasos and Rhodes. A number of arguments exist that make such an analogy hardly defensible. This allows us to think of another interpretation of the second names on englyphic stamps. They may mark the presence of a group of traders or distributors of finished goods that are not (or are related in an unconventional way) with the public administration. The hypothesis is not yet supported by conclusive arguments. The very possibility of proposing this hypothesis though shows that our knowledge about amphorae marked with englyphic stamps is far from the desired level of certainty.

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