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A Restudy of the Cylindrical Amphoras form the Seventh-Century Yassi Ada Shipwreck

Peter G. van Alfen
Thesis: December 1995
Chair: van Doorninck
Nautical Archaeology Program

F. H. van Doorninck, Jr.'s recent work on the piriform amphoras recovered from the 11th c. A.D. shipwreck at Serçe Limani, Turkey, has shown that the volume capacity of the amphoras in liters correlate to weight capacities in Byzantine , or pounds, for red and white wine. These correlations demonstrate that, by the 11th c., there was a complex and controlled metrological system in use for the transportation and marketing of wine. Using the methodology developed by van Doorninck for his study, this re-examination of the cylindrical amphoras from the Yassi Ada shipwreck provides evidence for a somewhat similar metrological system in use by the 7th c. This restudy of the Yass Ada cargo also offers a new interpretation of the shipwreck: that it was not an ordinary merchant vessel, but a ship owned and operated by the Church assisting in the provisionment of Byzantine troops during the final stages of the Persian War (ca. A.D. 626).

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