A local amphora group at the harbour complex of Byzantine Caesarea

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The harbour complex at Caesarea offered multiple points of exchange associated with official provincial trade by the administration and private commerce. The inclusion of secondary proto-harbours in this complex may have led to increased specialized trade among the smaller anchorages. In a new collaborative project between the Israel Antiquities Authority and the University of Haifa, assemblages recovered from past underwater surveys of Caesarea's peripheral anchorages are being reevaluated. This paper presents the findings from typological and petrographic analysis of the Southern Anchorage Byzantine assemblage. It presents new evidence for the trade of a locally produced 'package' of Caesarea amphorae consisting of forms of LRA 4 (Gazan amphorae), LRA 5 (Palestinian Bag-shape amphorae), and a newly identified variant of Agora M 334. Petrographic analysis confirms the local production of this assemblage in the immediate region of Caesarea. This represents somewhat of a departure from a preference on the export of variants of these forms produced in the neighbouring province of Phoenice in the region of Akko. Instead, at the Southern Anchorage the 'Caesarea Regional package' is the dominant assemblage group. The distribution of this group is predominantly in the eastern Mediterranean trade networks where they are identified in Beirut and Istanbul (and Western Asia Minor) but also appear in southern France. Tracing the presence of these vessels together, not only in regional coastal trade networks, but in the broader Mediterranean economy helps us to better understand the role of Caesarea's peripheral harbours within the Byzantine economy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLRCW 6
Subtitle of host publicationLate Roman Coarse Wares, Cooking Wares and Amphorae in the Mediterranean: Archaeology and Archaeometry Land and Sea: Pottery Routes
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781803271491
ISBN (Print)9781803271484
StatePublished - 7 Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© the individual authors and Archaeopress 2023. All rights reserved.


  • Amphorae
  • Eastern Mediterranean
  • Late Roman and Byzantine Periods
  • Levant
  • Petrographic Analysis
  • Trade Routes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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