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Home arrow Norms of publication

1. Fundamental principles

Amphoras were stamped in series with dies which are lost today. The publication of the stamps has to take into account this fact and consequently to respond to two fundamental principles : the economy of words and the relevance.

1.1. Economy of words

It is imperative to avoid repetitions in regrouping informations and general reflexions in an introduction, to omit them when they are ordinary and to mention under each stamp only those which are particular to it.

1.2. Relevance

The commentary of the material has to be in strict rapport to the purpose of the publication. In the case of an article devoted to a particular site, for example, it is not relevant to record all of the attestations of the eponym or « fabricant » named on the stamp that is published, more especially as the list of results often confuses the homonyms and, especially in big series, only creates an illusion of exhaustivity.

2. Types of publication

One distinguishes two types of publications according as to whether they are dealing with :
a) the dies (as revealed by a stamp) ;
b) the stamps themselves.
The corpora dedicated to a production centre pertain to the first type of publication (a). The works devoted to a consumption site or to an archaeological collection (which often constitute a necessary step in the creation of a corpus) belong to the second (b).
The structure of the commentary depends on the type of publication : the content of the rubric 3.2 is not the same in the types a and b ; the rubrics 3.3 and 3.4 are theoretically absent of type a.

3. Commentary and illustration

3.1. Reference

An inventory number (of museum rather than excavation) must indicate where the stamp is held. If the later has already been published, the different editions will be presented in a « genetic » manner, using parentheses.

3.2. Die and stamp

According to the planned publication (a or b) one will mention, if possible :

a) the stamps produced by the published die ;
b) the die, published or not, which has produced the stamp (or, at least, the « type » to which it belongs).

3.3. The context of the discovery

When it presents an interest, the context of the discovery ought to be stated as clearly as possible.

3.4. Description of the amphora (or lagynos)

Authors should describe the clay and the slip (especially when they are atypical), the surviving fragments of the amphora (if significant) and, where necessary, the capacity or at least the size of the container, without omitting the eventual graffiti and dipinti. The position of the stamp has to be indicated in some cases (on the handle, neck, body or foot...).

3.5. Description and transcription of the stamp

It is important to record the form of the stamp (if it varies), to transcribe the legend in small accented letters, using editorial sigla, but also to identify the emblem(s). A system of arrows should be used to indicate the orientation of the various elements of the stamps.

3.6. Attribution

One must indicate the date or the period to which the stamp belongs and eventually its workshop or engraver.


The reference to parallels (stamps produced under the same eponym or by the same fabricant, etc.) must be in accordance with the two fundamental principles mentioned above. It is usually not necessary in the publications dealing with a site of consumption or an archaeological collection. Concerning the stamps produced by the same die, see above (3.2).

3.8. Miscellaneous

It is not necessary to repeat the preceding commentaries on eponym, fabricant, emblem, etc. unless one wants to add something new.

3.9. Illustration

The stamp(s) imprinted on each handle should be illustrated by a photograph at a scale of 1 : 1 illustrating the object itself or its rubbing. The photography can be supplemented, but not substituted by a drawing.

4. Index

All publications of amphora stamps must include an index mentioning fabricants, eponyms, months and emblems.

5. Bibliography

The bibliographies have to be as limited as possible. A list of abbreviations should allow the author to refer to all the various periodicals in a standard form.

Complemtary bibliography
N. Badoud, « De la description en archéologie : l'exemple des timbres amphoriques », Alexandrie, 2007 (available here).

Y. Garlan, « La publication des timbres amphoriques grecs », in J. Remesal Rodriguez (éd.), Epigrafía anfórica, Barcelone, 2004, p. 11-19.

L. Robert, Gnomon 42 (1970), p. 579-603. 

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