Oxyrhynchus and Mediterranean Trade:

Stamped Amphora Handle

Amphora is the name given to a large pottery jar, of the type often found in shipwrecks. This broken piece has a name-stamp on the handle — one of very few known to have been found at Oxyrhynchus. It reads VEHILI (stamped in reverse: the image below is inverted and enhanced). Other similarly stamped handles suggest that Vehilius was an important figure in the ceramic trade in the first century BC. In the 1903 EES excavation reports, Grenfell and Hunt report the finding at Oxyrhynchus of another amphora handle stamped VEHILI, which they interpreted as a personal name.

Amphoras with this name were shipped from the Brindisi area throughout the Mediterranean: in Egypt, find-spots include Alexandria, Tanis and Hermopolis as well as Oxyrhynchus. From a private collection; publication forthcoming in ZPE 122 (1998).

Material Culture