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Minoan Pottery from Cyprus, and the Origin of the Mycenean style

  • E. J. Forsdyke


The recent enthusiasm of English explorers for the prehistoric antiquities of Greece, if involving some neglect of things ‘merely Hellenic,’ has at least resulted happily in the enrichment of our museums. The Minoan civilisation can at present be studied only in Crete, England, and America; and while the journey to Crete is always necessary for an adequate understanding of the subject, the introductory idea can be better acquired at home, where the material is limited by selection and less bewildering in bulk and variety. Crete and Minoan art are naturally associated with the Ashmolean Museum; and it is perhaps overlooked that the British Museum has at the same time acquired, by gift of excavators and of the Committee of the British School at Athens, a collection of originals and reproductions not indeed comparing with the splendour of Oxford, but valuable in representing most of the important sites, and especially useful to students in possessing an arranged series of sherds of every period.



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1 British Museum, Excavations in Cyprus, p. 81.

2 These bear the following numbers in the volume of the Catalogue of Vases which will shortly appear: C 173, C 174, C 438, C 522; the Kamares sherd is A 231.

3 Numbers of vases in the forthcoming Catalogue: C 11, C 120, C 151, C 152, C 208, C 240, C 251, C 253, C 256, C 332, C 474, C 510; the Minoan bowl is A 371, and the cup from Knossos A 370.

4 Evans, , ‘The Prehistoric Tombs of Knossos’ (Archaeologia, vol. lix. 1906), p. 91, Fig. 102a.

5 Hawes, Harriet Boyd, Gournia, Pl. X. 45, 46.

6 Excavations in Cyprus, p. 74, and p. 79 (Tomb 50), where the contents of the grave are given. Catalogue, C 501: the sign is cut on each handle of this vase.

7 E.g. Gournia, Pl. X. 12; B.S.A. ix. p. 318.

8 ‘Prehistoric Tombs of Knossos,’ p. 127, etc.

9 Gournia, p. 45.

10 Dawkins, in B.S.A. ix. pp. 316sg.; x. p. 226. Mackenzie, in J.H.S. xxiii. (1903), p. 199.

11 E.g. the pseudamphora, the flat threehandled jar, and the straight-sided filler. See below, p. 118.

12 Furtwängler, and Loeschcke, , Mykenische Vasen, p. 75.

13 Loc cit. No. 3—‘unkenntliche Darstellung.’ I owe the interpretation and dating to Mr. H. R. Hall.

14 J.H.S. xi. (1890), p. 273, Pl. XIV. 1; Illahun, etc., p. 21.

15 Hall, , Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch. 1909, p. 141.

16 Fimmen, , Zeit und Dauer der kretischmykenischen Kultur, p. 51.

17 Petrie, , J.H.S. xi. (1890), p. 274, Pl. XIV. 3; Illahun, etc., p. 17.

18 Petrie, Tell-el-Amarna, Pl. XXVI. sq.

19 Hall, , ‘The Discoveries in Crete,’ etc. (Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch. 1909), p. 140.

20 Eg. Bosanquet in J.H.S. xxiv. 1904, pp. 317 sq.

21 Harriet Boyd Hawes, Gournia, Pll. VII., VIII., IX.

22 Furtwängler aud Loeschcke, Mykenische Thongefässe.

23 Burrows, , Discoveries in Crete 2, pp. 160, 177, etc., with references.

24 Cf. Mackenzie, in B.S.A. xi. pp. 220223.

25 Ath. Mitt, xxxiv. (1909), p. 269, Pll. XII.XXIV.

26 For the birds, B.S.A. ix. p. 318; x. p. 226.

27 ‘The Discoveries in Crete and their Relation to the History of Egypt and Palestine’ (Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch. 1909), p. 235, note 102.

28 Dumont, and Chaplain, , Céramiques de la Grèce Propre, i. p. 45; whence Daremberg and Saglio, Dict. Antiqu. s.v. ‘Infundibulum.’

29 Hall, H. R., The Oldest Civilisation in Greece, p. 54, Fig. 24.

30 Seager, , ‘Excavations on the Island of Pseira’ (Univ. Pennsylvania Mus. Anthrop. Publ. vol. iii. No. 1, 1910), p. 26.

Minoan Pottery from Cyprus, and the Origin of the Mycenean style

  • E. J. Forsdyke


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