Page images

probably to about 650 B.C., was discovered in the hill of Montecalvario, near Castellina in Chianti, and excavated in 1904. The construction is interesting: the remains of the metal decorations of a chariot were found within (L. A. Milani, in Notizie degli Scavi, 1905, 225).

In 1904 excavations were undertaken in a necropolis of the territory of Capena; the earliest tombs found belonged to about 600 B.C., but they seemed to have been reopened and used again in the third and second centuries B.C. (R. Paribeni, ibid. 301 seq.).

In Verona a considerable part of the Roman theatre has been excavated (G. Ghirardini, in Notizie degli Scavi, 1905, 259 seq.).




CRETE Knossos.—In the Aegean, Crete, and particularly Knossos, remains the centre of interest. The summary report in B. S. 4. xi. deals only with Dr. Evans's operations in the spring of 1905-the discovery of the magazines along a Minoan roadway west of the palace; of a detached house in the same quarter, with a "fetish-shrine" containing stones of grotesque natural forms, and some notable examples of Minoan brickwork; and of further floor-deposits of Early Middle Minoan date, below the level of the west court; together with supplementary investigations round the west. entrance, and in the thickness of the west wall, which is thus proved to be of Middle Minoan date. After a severe "washout" in the winter, the grand staircase of the domestic quarter on the east side of the palace has been completely rebuilt; and the Throne-room has been adapted to serve as a reference museum of typical objects of successive periods. No regular excavation was undertaken in 1906; but in the course of minor operations, a small cemetery of geometric (Early Iron Age) period was revealed close to the palace site (Proc. Brit. Ass. York, 1906).

Though the definitive publication of Knossos still tarries, three preliminary studies have appeared, which will do much to make the main drift of the discoveries clear to the general public.

(1) Pottery Classification.-In a paper read at Athens in 1905, Dr. Evans has formulated in brief outline the main characteristics of the successive styles of his "Minoan" classification scheme. The report in C. R. Arch. Congress,

1905, is meagre and inaccurate, but Dr. Evans has superseded it by an invaluable pamphlet, which serves as a summary guide to the whole perspective of the series. In essentials, Dr. Mackenzie's preliminary analysis of the ceramic art in J. H. S. xxiii. is upheld.

(2) Necropolis.-The adjacent necropolis of Zafer Papoura, and the fine "Royal Tomb" of Isopata, are published by Dr. Evans himself in Archaeologia, lix. 2, p. 391 ff., with a separate edition entitled The Prehistoric Tombs of Knossos I. and II. These tombs, one hundred in number, fall into four groups: (i)" chamber tombs," analogous to the tholoi of other parts of Crete and of the Greek mainland, cut in the rock and approached by a gangway or dromos; (ii) "shaft-graves," with their cavity roofed with slabs, and (unlike the Cycladic and Palaikastro cists) containing an extended burial; (iii) "pit-caves," somewhat like the "shaftgraves," but with the burial-chamber in the side of the shaft; and (iv), the rectangular masonry chamber of the Royal Tomb, measuring some twenty-five by eighteen feet, roofed with a stone "corbel-vault," estimated to have been some twenty-five feet high, and furnished with dromos and side-chambers. Many of these tombs contained magnificent examples of the Late Minoan style of pot-painting, fine bronze vessels, and swords of several types closely analogous to those of the shaft-graves of Mycenae. The Royal Tomb belongs apparently to the Third Middle Minoan period. It had certainly been rifled early, and re-used in the latest days of the palace, for it contained fragments of vases of the grand "palace style"; but it had been rifled again and re-used for casual interments in Late Minoan time. The rest of the necropolis belongs wholly to the Third Late Minoan period, subsequent to the destruction of the palace, and contemporary with a large part of the tombs of Mycenae, Ialysus, and Mycenaean Cyprus.

(3) Palace Architecture.-Dr. Dörpfeld, not content to wait for the definitive publication either of Knossos or of Phaistos, presented to the Athens Congress of 1905 a

theory of the history of palace architecture in Minoan times (C. R. Arch. Congress, p. 209 ff.), and has republished it in full in Ath. Mitth. xxx. 1905, pp. 255-296. Its principal service to the subject is that it has drawn from Dr. Mackenzie an earlier and fuller statement of actual data as to the Knossian palace than we should perhaps otherwise have been entitled to expect for some time (B. S. 4. xi. pp. 181-223). Dr. Dörpfeld claims to distinguish two types of palace-construction. The earlier palaces at Knossos and Phaistos were built round great courtyards; the later, as at Mycenae and Tiryns, have a megaron or great hall as their characteristic feature. Labelling the earlier type as "Karian" (a needless aftermath of the exploded Karian theory of twenty years ago) and the later as "Achaean" (following Reisch and the recent German theorists generally), he goes on to suppose that both at Phaistos and at Knossos there was a general reconstruction of the older "Karian" palace on "Achaean" lines; but claims that the "Karians," though driven away by "Minos," whom he seems to take to be" Achaean," left to Crete much of their culture, and under the guise of the Lycian Kyklopes of tradition, built the palace of Tiryns for "Achaean" princes on the mainland, after an "Achaean" plan. Here, incidentally, we have the equation Karian= Lycian=Cyclopean, and the paradox that the "Achaean" palace of Tiryns is of " Karian” workmanship. Dr. Dörpfeld proposes, on this basis, to rechristen as "Karian" all that Dr. Evans classifies as "Early" and "Middle Minoan," and to call his "Late Minoan” phase "Achaean." Incidentally the later is equated with "Homeric." The Homeric "Achaeans" were, therefore, for Dr. Dörpfeld, in a Bronze Age phase of culture.

Ethnic nicknames like these, though picturesque, are of course meaningless as yet; or rather, in so far as they are capable of a meaning, they imply traditional preconceptions which can only have the effect, designedly or not, of cramping, if not distorting, the interpretation of archaeological facts.

More serious, however, is the impression which Dr. Dörpfeld's premature speculation conveys, that he has not made himself fully acquainted with the evidence. This is well illustrated by Dr. Mackenzie's paper, which convicts him, for example, of mistaking a Minoan "light well" for an Achaean megaron, and of attributing parts of the same homogeneous wall to different periods of architecture; and it becomes more evident still when Dr. Dörpfeld's essay is compared either with the official account of Phaistos, which has since appeared, or with the remains in situ. His analysis of the west wing of the Knossian palace is particularly liable to mislead.

Phaistos and Agia Triadha.-At Phaistos the excavation of the palace was practically completed in 1904, and the inclusive account of it by Dr. Pernier will be found in Mon. Ant. xiv. 1905, p. 313 ff. The remains range from Neolithic to Late Minoan (Mycenaean), with two great periods of constructive activity. An adjacent necropolis of fourteen tombs, of a modified tholos type, belongs to the Third Late Minoan period, and approximately to 13001200 B.C. Eight simpler tombs, containing larnakes, or clay sarcophagi, were also found, of similar date.

On the neighbouring site of Agia Triadha excavation is also apparently at an end. A preliminary summary by Dr. Halbherr is in Rend. Acad. Linc. 1905, pp. 365-405. The palace-villa seems to have been built in the First Late Minoan stage, and destroyed in the Second. Its rich and beautiful contents are therefore peculiarly well dated, and will furnish an important fixed point in many departments of Minoan art. Among the more striking objects are the vases of carved steatite, with reliefs illustrating and helping to date accurately the gold work of the Vaphio cups. An altar in the courtyard was found well supplied with offerings in terracotta and bronze. Underneath the Late Minoan villa lies a Middle Minoan building; and a village, with storehouses and a necropolis, all of this phase, lies in the neighbourhood. The tombs, and particularly two early

« PreviousContinue »