Troja: Results of the Latest Researches and Discoveries on the Site of Homer's Troy, 1882

By Heinrich Schliemann | Go to book overview

NOTES

Note I.--THE CAUCASUS.

As some of the oldest Greek myths are located in the Caucasus, I had always thought that antiquities might possibly be found there, of an age even more remote than those of Troy. But it seems that I have been mistaken, for Professor Rudolf Virchow, of Berlin--who attended the Archaeological Congress at Tiflis in September and October, 1981, and who himself made excavations in the most ancient cemetery of the country, the prehistoric necropolis of Upper-Koban, which has been explored since 1869--ascertained that even this necropolis belongs to the very beginning of the iron-age, though bronze is still preponderant in it, and that neither there nor elsewhere in the Caucasus have any prehistoric antiquities, in the proper sense of the word, as yet been found, nor have any stone-implements ever yet occurred. Nevertheless the celebrated explorer thinks that the necropolis of Upper-Koban may probably belong to the tenth century before our era.*

____________________
*
Rudolf Virchow, Das Gräberfeld von Koban im Lande der Osseten, Kaukasus, eine vergleichende archaeologische Studie, Berlin, 1883. This work is not only quantitatively a gigantic performance, but it is also qualitatively a real masterpiece of comparative investigation. It contains 20 printed sheets of large size with 50 excellent woodcuts, and is accompanied by an Atlas containing 11 tables and about 200 magnificent representations in autotype (Lichtdruck) of the most remarkable objects found in the 500 tombs, and more, hitherto unearthed in the Necropolis of Upper- Koban. The celebrated investigator remarks that, by the copiousness and the variety of its bronzes, the necropolis of Koban stands among all ancient European cemeteries nearest to the famous necropolis of Hallstadt in Austria. With all the richness of his deep and extensive learning, with the vast abundance of his long experience, and with the mature judgment of the practical archaeologist, he has proceeded to investigate the connection in which each of the numerous bronze and other objects found in the necropolis of Koban stands to every other discovery made by himself or by any other explorer on any other prehistoric site. The rich abundance of the contents may be conceived when it is considered that, besides numerous quotations in the text, the work contains more than a thousand notes and quotations below the text. I enthusiastically recommend this new and splendid masterpiece of the most conscientious and deeply-learned investigator and explorer to all who take an interest in archaeology.

-280-

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