The neck-amphora is identifiable by its clearly defined neck. The shape is old, recognisable among Geometric and Protoattic vases. In Athenian black-figure, examples can be ovoid (notably the so-called Tyrrhenian amphorae, which seem to have been made for an Etruscan market), but the standard type has a more obvious 'shoulder', perhaps inspired at some stage by East Greek shapes. Another distinct type is the strap-handled Nikosthenic amphorae. These imitate a shape found in Etruscan bucchero, and the find-spots suggest that an Etruscan market was intended.
Neck-amphorae continue to be decorated with the black-figure technique, but later examples (from c.500) are often smaller. Those with double-reeded handles are termed 'doubleens'. Among the various types found in red-figure, distinctive are the small Nolan amphorae, identifiable by their high necks, and named after Nola where many examples were found.