Such remarkable additions were made by last season's excavations at Knossos and in the Dictaean Cave to the small number of known specimens of pre-Mycenaean painted pottery of Cretan fabric, that it is worth while to deal with this ware anew.
It was first made known by Mr. J. L. Myres, after he had seen and drawn, in the Syllogos Museum at Candia, certain fragments said to have been found in a cave on the southern slope of Ida, two and a half hours above the village of Kamares. In his communication to the Society of Antiquaries (March 14th, 1895, Proc. XV., iii., pp. 351–356, Plates i–iv.) Mr. Myres rightly apprehended the period, character and affinities of this new and singular variety of early Aegean pottery. The colouring of his drawings, however, not having been applied with the models in sight, was not quite correct, and many of the fragments were republished by Dr. L. Mariani, (Monumenti Antichi, Vol. VI., riates 9–11, pp. 334–342), but in some cases were not improved upon. From the reported place of first finding this fabric is commonly called “Kamares“ ware.
No more of it was found for some years. While excavating the lower prehistoric town of Knossos in March last, however, we lighted on many Kamares vases and fragments, and were able to establish the fact that, so far from that ware being a rarity, it is to be looked for in Crete wherever any strata of remains underlie the Mycenaean. It occurred in our digging at Knossos at all points at which the early town was probed to the rock. On the Kephala hill, where the lowest stratum of deposit is a dusty yellow clay full of Neolithic weapons and sherds, Kamares sherds occur, where stratified, immediately above that stratum.