Handbook of Greek Archaeology: Vases, Bronzes, Gems, Sculpture, Terra-Cottas, Mural Paintings, Architecture, Etc.

By A. S. Murray | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II.
PRIMITIVE PERIOD, EARLIEST STAGES OF POTTERY,
GEM-ENGRAVING, WORK IN GLASS, BRONZE, GOLD, ETC.

HESIOD , 'Works and Days,'24.

IN view of the chancing conditions under which primitive people have always lived, it is not surprising that they should have left no more permanent memorials of their existence than their tombs. All else is apt to be swept away by subsequent civilization. The graves remain, and it is to them that we must first turn in Greece, is in other ancient countries. For the present we must be content without dates. In time it may be that some more definite conception may arise than is now conveyed by the vague word "primitive."

Fig. 1. Black ware--punctured lines. Cyprus. Brit. Mus. Ht. 3 1/4 in.

Plate I. is intended to illustrate the pottery found in primitive tombs, and here it should be observed that the contents of such tombs very largely consist of earthenware. Nos. 1, 2, 3, 8, and Fig. 1 represent the oldest class. It will be seen that the patterns on them have seen produced by incised, or punctured, lines, arranged in zigzags, much as on the primitive pottery of Britain, but with this difference, that the

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