“Accept no Imitation? Amphora packaging and Roman wine consumption on the Bay of Naples”, AIA talk by Jennifer L. Muslin (Loyola University Chicago, Classical Studies).
Most ancient Romans enjoyed wine and believed that everyone, from emperors to enslaved peoples, should drink it daily. To meet such high demand, viticulture, winemaking, packaging, and trading happened all over the Mediterranean, with the highest quality vintages coming from Central and Southern Italy and Sicily. Roman wines were stored and traveled in large, ceramic containers called amphorae that were durable, heavy, and built to withstand multiple fillings. Winemaking regions in the Empire often manufactured their own versions of these vessels, perhaps to insure brand identification, and refurbished and reused amphorae from other regions to store and export their products. When different wines were packaged using the same recycled amphorae, how could a buyer trust that she was getting a good quality vintage and not a hangover in disguise? New research at the first century C.E. packaging facility of Oplontis B near Pompeii is changing what we know about the social history of Roman wine, amphora use and reuse, and consumer choices on the Bay of Naples and the ancient Mediterranean world.
*The event is free and open to those who are 21 and over. Please register at eventbrite
Dr. Jennifer L. Muslin (PhD, University of Texas at Austin) is the Director of Pottery Studies and Finds at the Roman industrial site of Oplontis B for the Oplontis Project, a UT Austin-sponsored archaeological excavation based in Torre Annunziata (NA), Italy. She has published articles and book chapters on Roman pottery, Roman houses, and Pompeian wall painting and is currently writing two books on more 1,500 amphorae that the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei excavations of Oplontis B recovered from 1973-1991. She teaches classical studies at Loyola University Chicago.