Abdominal amphora

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Berlin abdominal amphora by the Nessos painter , one of the oldest abdominal amphorae

The abdominal amphora or abdominal amphora is one of the two basic forms of the ancient Greek amphora , along with the neck amphora .

Abdominal amphorae are initially used in a few, mainly more massive, pieces in the late 7th century BC. Developed. Around 600 BC They have reached their typical canonical form. It remains a popular shape among the larger vase shapes for a long time.

The most obvious difference between abdominal and neck amphorae is the different production method, which is expressed in different looks. In contrast to the neck amphora, the body of the abdominal amphora was made in one piece, the neck was not specially manufactured and attached. Since a different manufacturing technique was required for this, abdominal amphorae with their different internal statics also appear much thicker and bulky, are more compact and arched. Most abdominal amphorae have a bulging pillow base, the handles have a round cross-section. In contrast to this, the lip is angular in its capacity as the end of the vessel and support for the lid.

There are also differences in the decoration. In the case of abdominal amphorae, the black-coated background is generally only interrupted by picture windows on the front and back (sides A and B). These image fields often take up a good part of the width and the two upper thirds of the amphora body.

A distinction is made between three basic forms of abdominal amphorae, which are simply divided into types A, B and C. The main differences are found in the foot, handle and lip of the vessels.

  • Type A: mostly the larger abdominal amphorae, straight lips, square handles with protruding edges, stepped foot (two-step, from around 520 BC the beginning of the foot remains clay-ground), ventral window, decorated handles (mostly ivy tendrils, a little later also one Palmette below the handle); comes around 550 BC Chr., Used several times for bilingual depictions of the same subjects in black-figure and red-figure painting style
  • Type B: mostly the smaller abdominal amphorae, straight lip, rounded foot, cylindrical handle, abdominal picture window; the oldest and most common of the canonical forms, which dates back to the early 5th century BC. Is manufactured
  • Type C: rolled lips, simple foot, often no extra limited belly window; introduced by the Affecter and also continued in the red-figure technique.

There is no consensus among researchers whether one should regard pelicas as a separate form or whether it is a type of abdominal amphora. The horse head amphora is a special form due to the decoration .