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Amphora sherd

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from Carpow, Perthshire

Amphora sherd
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An amphora is a large, distinctive container used to transport perishable goods over long distances. This pottery example was found at the site of the Roman fort at Carpow in Perthshire. It was used between 208 and 211 AD.

The sherd has an incised inscription in Greek letters. Enough survives to indicate that the amphora contained wine flavoured with horehound, a cough medicine which has been used for millennia.

The Roman army medical service was impressively equipped and could deal with a variety of injuries and ailments. The fact that this inscription is in Greek suggests that the medical officer based at Carpow could speak Greek, or was of Greek origin.

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