When I acceded to the suggestion of the Editor of ANTIQUITY that I should write a review of the third volume of Sir Arthur Evans’ great work on the palace at Cnossus I was aware of the difficulty of the task I was undertaking. It would of course be quite impossible in a brief article to give any notion of the vast operations which the author has carried through with infinite skill and patience, revealing to us the character of a most curious civilization in Crete, the very existence of which was not suspected until the excavations of Schliemann at Mycenae gave us data. In 1877 I was so much interested by these revelations of the spade that I went to Greece to investigate them, and at Athens Sir Charles Newton and I were shown all the treasures of Mycenae. Newton’s article on them in the Edinburgh Review; and mine in the Quarterly Review, introduced them to English archaeologists, greatly to Schliemann’s satisfaction, as he was openly accused at that centre of scandal, Athens, of having had the rich treasures made by local goldsmiths. And Stephani, perhaps the most learned archaeologist living, was claiming them as the buried spoil of the barbarian invaders of the Roman Empire.
Look on this picture and on that! By slow degrees Evans has succeeded in recovering in a great measure the architecture, the art, the manners and customs, the physical type, the religion, of the great civilization of which that revealed at Mycenae was but a late offshoot, a civilization contemporary with the mighty empires of the East, and in some ways more interesting than any of them, since it is more European, more in the line of our civilization and progress.
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