Panathenaic prize amphora

Drawing of Panathenaic prize amphoraThe broad body, narrow neck and foot of Panathenaic amphorae gives a shape reminiscent of transport amphorae. They served as prizes in the Panathenaic Games, containing oil for victors. The Games seem to have been established in Athens in the 560s, and the earliest examples of the shape can be dated to around the same time. Panathenaic amphorae are useful for dating, since they continue to be produced well after the fourth century, becoming more elongated and elaborate. From the fourth century, the name of the archon for the year is inscribed, permitting an unusually precise means of fixing chronology.

Panathenaic amphorae are only decorated in the black-figure technique. Athena always appears on one side, with the inscription "ton Athenethen athlon" - a prize from Athens. The event for which the vase was a prize is depicted on the other side

Amphorae 'of Panathenaic shape' refer to vases of this shape that are decorated in different ways, such as those in red-figure. Smaller versions also occur, perhaps as souvenirs.

Panathenaic prize amphora
  • Athenian amphora ht. 49.5cm. Panathenaic shape