Amphora sherd

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from Carpow, Perthshire

Postcard of Amphora sherd.
© National Museums Scotland

Amphora sherd

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.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-037-589-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FRC 33
Date: Between 208 and 211 AD
Material: Ceramic, dark grey, buff surface; inscribed
What: Pottery / amphora / wall sherd
Where: Scotland, Perthshire, Carpow
Description: Wall sherd of an amphora of dark grey earthenware with buff surface, inscribed to indicate contents, from Carpow
  • Clarke, D.V., Breeze, D.J., and Mackay, G. The Romans in Scotland. An introduction to the collections of the National Museums of Antiquities of Scotland. Edinburgh: National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, 1980, p. 49. 
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