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THE excavations of the twelvemonth, from September 1906 to September 1907, are most important from the light they throw on the prehistoric and archaic periods.

Several discoveries concern a neolithic culture that is now coming to light in Northern Greece, and has been hitherto chiefly represented by the objects found some years ago by Dr. Tsountas at Sesklo and Dhimini in Thessaly. Similar settlements have this year been dug by Dr. Sotiriadhis near Chaeronea, and Dr. Dörpfeld's so-called "Achaean" pottery, that he continues to find on Leukas, and has now discovered also at Olympia and Pylos, belongs apparently to the same context. Although it must be much earlier than the first appearance of the Achaeans in Greece, what seems certain is that this pottery, and the objects found with it, belong to a neolithic culture, whose connexions are European rather than Aegean. Dr. Dörpfeld rightly dissociates it altogether from the Mycenean, and connects it with the remains from Halstatt and Villanova, as a European and not a Mediterranean element in the Greek world. It is no doubt of different dates, but its chronology in relation to the Aegean series has not yet been made out.

Fresh evidence as to newcomers into the Greek world from Europe at a much later time is afforded by the work of the British School at Athens this spring at Sparta, where the centre of interest has again been the Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia. The lowest strata at this shrine, described in last year's report, have been further ex

plored, and amongst the objects found are a number of fibulae of North Italian and Halstatt types, and, still more important, a good deal of amber. These were all associated with "geometric" pottery, and, from its thickness, some of this deposit must be as early as the ninth or tenth century. Though found with Mycenean objects, amber is hardly known in Greece in later times, whilst in Central Europe it is extremely common. This amber and the peculiar fibulae at Sparta indicate a people from the north, and are no doubt remains of the earliest Dorian settlers, who had brought with them from their northern home their native ornaments and their own types of jewellery.

With these were found a fine series of ivories, both figures in the round and carved plaques. Many of these latter were fastened to the front of fibulae of the "safety-pin type. A very remarkable fibula is formed of an ivory doubleheaded eagle with amber eyes. To this same period belongs the large altar of the sanctuary, that has now been cleared. It is built of roughly dressed stones laid in regular courses. For the continuity of the cult it is important to note that this altar is directly below the scanty remains of two later altars, Hellenistic and Roman. The temple, that was found last year, has now been fully cleared, and dates in its earliest form from the sixth century. Contemporary fragments of its brightly painted architectural sculpture have been found. There are indications that the earliest temple, to which the altar belonged, was in another, not yet excavated, part of the sanctuary. It was possible to change the site of the temple, but not that of the altar, the real centre of the cult.

The other work of the British School at Sparta was the complete tracing of the course of the ancient walls of the city, largely by the aid of stamped tiles, fragments of which have remained, where the wall itself has utterly perished. The name of the tyrant Nabis, found on some of the stamps, connects the building of the walls with his

On the Acropolis hill, behind the theatre, in the position given by Pausanias, the remains of the Temple of Athena Chalkioikos have been found. The best objects are a number of excellent bronze statuettes, and a fine Panathenaic An abundance of bronze nails were found, which probably served to keep in place the bronze wall-plates, from which the temple took its name.

These results will be published in the 1908 number of The British School Annual.

Of the excavations conducted in the summer of 1906, among the Cycladic cemeteries of Naxos and Syros by Clon Stephanos, mention was made in last year's report. The culture, often called Amorgine, revealed by these cemeteries has been recognised for some time as having influenced Crete at the end of the Early Minoan period (Early Minoan III.), and this year actual cist-graves like those of the Cyclades have been found by Mr. Seager on the island of Pseira, where he has continued the work begun in 1906. The island lies in the gulf of Mirabello, just off the north coast of Crete. Similar cist-graves are also reported by Mr. Papavasileíou from near Chalkis, and it seems established that at this period the Cyclades held the first place in the Aegean world, only yielding later to Crete, as Crete afterwards gave way to the mainland of Greece.

Besides the cemetery just mentioned, many other discoveries are reported this year from Crete. Mr. Seager's town on Pseira has proved especially rich in fine pottery and stone vases. Painted reliefs in gesso duro have been found, like those from Knossos. A figure of a woman in

richly embroidered robe is the most important. The walls of the houses were built solidly of stone, without the use of brick, and in some cases are preserved to the height of nine feet. As nothing later than Late Minoan II. has been found, the town seems to have been deserted at the time of the destruction of the Palace of Knossos, about 1500 B.C., when Crete lost her commanding position. Indeed

for a people who had not the command of the sea, to hold a small, waterless, unproductive rock like Pseira would be as impossible, as it would have been unprofitable for them to keep up such a trading station as the settlement at Lower Zakro, which was deserted at this same time.

Further exploration of the Palace of Knossos has proved that much remains yet to be done, before it can be considered as fully excavated.

At Phaistos the Italian archaeologists have examined the earlier strata of the palace, and it is now clear that, as at Knossos, there were two palaces, of which the second was built upon the ruins of the first. Below these again is a neolithic layer. A sacrificial pit with burnt bones from the earlier, and a fine colonnaded court from the later palace are among the more important results.

Dr. Xanthoudhidhis's work at the Early Minoan site of Koumása in the Messará plain is continuing. His discovery of circular ossuaries was reported in last year's report. He has now found, outside these ossuaries, square courtyards containing masses of charcoal and half-burned bones. These he thinks are human, and considers that the bodies were at least partially cremated, before being placed in the ossuary. This observation would thus fall into line with Dr. Dörpfeld's views (C. R. Arch. Congrès, Athens, 1905), that the contracted position of the bodies in the contemporary Cycladic burials is the result of partial cremation (Brennung). No other evidence, however, of cremation in the Bronze Age has as yet been found, and these observations are hardly enough to establish the practice.

A Late Minoan III. pillar-shrine has been found near the ossuaries, of the type already known from other Minoan and Mycenean sites. In the centre was the sacred pillar supporting the roof, and by it were found a steatite table of offerings and a cone and cylinder, probably aniconic objects of worship.

A short notice of the Koumása excavation has appeared

in Пava@nvaîa, October 15th, 1906, Athens. The rest of the work in Crete is still unpublished.

Other Mycenean finds are a house on the Acropolis of Thebes, with vases and remains of wall-paintings, and an ossuary at Delos, discovered in the course of the French excavations, which are steadily proceeding with the work of clearing all the ancient remains. This ossuary, which contained bones and vases, was surrounded by a wall of the Hellenistic period, and the place was probably in classical times an abaton, a sacred enclosure over the tomb of a hero of the prehistoric age.

A large Mycenean beehive tomb, and the remains of a contemporary building have been found near Samikón by the archaeologists of the German Institute. Dr. Dörpfeld regards this as the site of the Homeric Pylos. The bones showed signs of cremation, and sherds of his "Achaean" pottery were found.

The Germans have also dug at Olympia, and report finds, which they consider prove that this site goes back to prehistoric times. They have also investigated the lower strata at Tiryns. Here remains of an older fortress have been found, and of an older palace below that dug by Schliemann. Nor was this the earliest building on the site, for below its floors more walls and even tombs have now been discovered.

At Tiryns also, outside the citadel, terracotta figures have now been found of the same type, a seated goddess and worshippers bringing offerings, as some from the Megaron of the upper fortress. They all probably come from the Temple of Hera, that occupied the site after the destruction of the Mycenean palace.

A report of these excavations at Tiryns, Pylos, and Leukas has appeared in Ath. Mitth. xxxii. pp. i-xvi.

Several important discoveries illustrate the archaic period. At Sunium, Dr. Stais has found two fairly complete colossal archaic nude "Apollos," which, with the bases of two others, had lain since the Persian invasion in a cleft in the rockplatform in front of the temple. The better preserved of

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