Unexpected finds or an unnoticed regularity? Black Sea amphorae from the excavations of Late Antique Dion in Macedonia (Greece)

Kyriakos Fragkoulis

Despite the progress achieved in recent years regarding the circulation of Pontic wares in the Mediterranean during Late Antiquity, the Aegean Sea region occupies a rather minor place in the relevant scholarship, while northern Greek sites are hardly ever mentioned. In contrast with that, the present paper is concerned with the significant amount of transport amphora finds of a likely or established Black Sea origin yielded at the ancient city of Dion in Macedonia.

The focus is put on selected contexts datable to the late 3rd and the late 5th first half of the 6th c. CE, the amphora material of which — principally belonging to type Zeest 80, and, secondarily, to the Sinopean type — is examined from various perspectives in an attempt to outline the distribution pattern of amphora-born commodities from Pontus at the city through time.

In addition to the Dion example, scattered evidence from neighbouring sites has also been assembled with a view to reflect upon the current picture about the presence of Black Sea amphorae in continental Greece and to evaluate the role of data recovery and dissemination bias in its formation.

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