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Ventris and Chadwick's translation is "carried on both sides." Amphorae varied greatly in height.
The largest stands as tall as 1.5 metres (5 ft) high, while some were fewer than 30 centimetres (12 in) high - the smallest were called amphoriskoi (literally "little amphorae"). There was a significant degree of standardisation in some variants; the wine amphora held a standard measure of about 39 litres (41 US qt), giving rise to the amphora quadrantal as a unit of measure in the Roman Empire.
It indicates the name of the figlina (workshop) and/or the name of the owner of the workshop.
Painted stamps, tituli picti, recorded the weight of the container and the contents, and were applied after the amphora was filled.
The base facilitated transport by ship, where the amphorae were packed upright or on their sides in as many as five staggered layers.
If upright, the bases probably were held by some sort of rack, and ropes passed through their handles to prevent shifting or toppling during rough seas.
They are occasionally so well preserved that the original content is still present, providing information on foodstuffs and mercantile systems.
Amphorae were too cheap and plentiful to return to their origin-point and so, when empty, they were broken up at their destination.
, Bennett's AMPHORA, which has a number of scribal variants.
The amphora complements the large storage container, the pithos, which makes available capacities between one-half and two and one-half tons.
In contrast, the amphora holds under a half-ton, typically less than 50 kilograms (100 lbs). Where the pithos may have multiple small loops or lugs for fastening a rope harness, the amphora has two expansive handles joining the shoulder of the body and a long neck.
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