The Mycenaean Age: A Study of the Monuments and Culture of Pre-Homeric Greece

By Chrestos Tsountas; J. Irving Manatt | Go to book overview

APPENDIX C RECENT MYCENAEAN FINDS IN ATTICA, SALAMIS, AND AEGINA

WITHIN the last three years the exploration of Mycenaean Attica and the neighboring islands in the Saronic Gulf has been peculiarly active and fruitful; and, while some main results have been taken up in the body of this volume, the aggregate work possesses such unity, importance and freshness as to call for a more full and connected treatment.

Prior to this time, Mycenaean landmarks had been established on the Athenian acropolis, at Menidi, Spata, and Thoricus. At the last-named place, two beehive tombs were already imperfectly known, and here the Greek Archaeological Society in 1893 commissioned Mr. Staes to make more thorough explorations. A report of his work, with drawings, appears in the journal of the Society for that year.1

On, the slope of a mountain of considerable height a third tomb was discovered, and on the summit of the mountain were ruins of buildings belonging, as Staes thinks, to two different periods, -- the Mycenaean proper and a still earlier one nearly synchronous with the oldest known Island civilization. So slight, however, are the traces of these buildings that no definite house-plan can be made out. Some houses of the earlier period had floors paved with flags, underneath which lay graves in the form of circular or oblong pits. In some of these were huge broken jars (pithoi) containing human bones. Near by, in the natural cavities of the rock, lay many small hand-made vases, probably funeral offerings. Pottery abounded in fragments of nearly every style, from the earliest monochrome (including vessels of the Trojan type) to the fully developed Mycenaean. The primitive vases are sometimes ornamented with incised circles and zigzag patterns. A few fragments of dull-colored unglazed vases occur, with bands, spirals, and various geometrical designs in black, red, chestnut, and white. Specimens of the second and third styles of glazed vases are also found. Of the three domed tombs, two are of novel form, being elliptical instead of circular, The larger is about 30 feet tong by 12 feet wide, with a dromos nearly 19 feet long, which is

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1
Πρακτικὰ, 1893, p. 12 ff. Unfortunately his valuable study of "Prehistoric Settlements in Attica and Aegina" ( Eph. Arch., 1895 -- but published only in September, 1896) came out too late to be fully utilized in this work.

-383-

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