Amphora. An amphora is a type of container of a characteristic shape and size, descending from at least as early as the Neolithic Period.
   Amphorae were used in vast numbers for the transport and storage of various products, both liquid and dry, but mostly for wine. They are most often ceramic, but examples in metals and other materials have been found.
   Versions of the amphorae were one of many shapes used in Ancient Greek vase painting. The amphora complements the large storage container, the pithos, which makes available capacities between one-half and two and one-half tons.
   In contrast, the amphora holds under a half-ton, typically less than 50 kilograms. The bodies of the two types have similar shapes.
   Where the pithos may have multiple small loops or lugs for fastening a rope harness, the amphora has two expansive handles joining the shoulder of the body and a long neck. The necks of pithoi are wide for scooping or bucket access. The necks of amphorae are narrow for pouring by a person holding it by the bottom and a handle. Some variants exist. The handles might not be present. The size may require two or three handlers to lift. For the most part, however, an amphora was tableware, or sat close to the table, was intended to be seen, and was finely decorated as such by master painters. Stoppers of perishable materials, which have rarely survived, were used to seal the contents. Two p
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