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We invited the Directors of the British Schools of Archaeology and History abroad to give us a short account of the works of their schools during 1963, as they kindly did for us in 1962 (ANTIQUITY, 1963, 36). We print these in the order of the establishment of the schools, namely Athens (1886), Rome (1901), Jerusalem (1919), Iraq (1932), Ankara (1948), East Africa (1960) and Iran (1961). We are this year, and we hope in future years, adding to this list a report on the work of the Egypt Exploration Society, which, though it has no school in the form of bricks and mortar, yet antedates all the others by three years, in the form of the Egypt Exploration Fund founded in 1883.
The find was made in June 1963 at a alongside a steep path which climbs from the valley floor near Tal-y-llyn on the west side of Nant Cader through part of the Cader Idris Estate of Idris Ltd., the soft drink manufacturers, which has lately been made over to the Nature Conservancy to preserve its natural beauties and prevent flooding of the country around Tal-y-llyn. The finders were Mr and Mrs Arthur Jones of Llanbadarn Fawr, Aberystwyth, who were picnicking alongside the path and happened to notice some pieces of sheet-bronze which were only half-buried in a shallow deposit of silt in a small cavity beneath a large boulder which projects from the mountainside, propped up by two small boulders. Through their good offices, the pieces were examined first by members of the Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments in Wales at Aberystwyth, and finally at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. The owners of the land, Idris Ltd., have now consented to place the find on permanent loan in the National Museum of Wales.
Dr Libby's article was directed to examining the probable accuracy of the biophysical assumptions involved in the radiocarbon method of dating. His method was to show in a series of tables how the radiocarbon content of samples of tested ancient material deviated from the specific radiocarbon content of biosphere carbon calculated for the dates assigned to these samples on 'historical' evidence. Hitherto, radiocarbon dates have normally been presented as a check on those arrived at by 'historical' methods; here Dr. Libby uses 'historical' dates to control the accuracy of the radiocarbon method. His article, though of deep interest to archaeologists and ancient historians, is thus primarily addressed to his fellow scientists. Before following Dr Libby's lead unreservedly, they will wish to know the relative strength and validity of the alleged 'historical' datings [I].
The first objective in this area was the Grotta Paglicci (FIG. I), a cave opening into the cretaceous limestone on the south side of the great karstic plateau, just below the village of Rignano. Here, in 1957, three of the author's colleagues, Professors A. Pasa and S. Ruffo, and Sig. Messena collected bone and stone artifacts of Palaeolithic date from the tip of a vast excavation which a mad treasure hunter had been carrying out in the cave for several years. When I visited the site in 1960 to make the preparations for a proper excavation, I discovered to my dismay that in the meantime this same treasure hunter, in spite of dissuasion, had been continuing his devastation with the help of explosives and had caused the fmal collapse of the entrance to the cave, completely obscuring its natural morphology. With meagre hopes of finding any part of the deposit intact, a start was made in the following April 1961 patiently to clear the mouth of the cave to see what could be saved. Fortunately an area of undisturbed deposit was found sealed below some large blocks of the fallen roof and furthermore a passage was cleared through the treasure hunter's debris towards the interior of the cave.
At last the cards are on the table. Palmer's book was intended to present the testimonia in support of his theory about the date of the Knossos tablets. His case was a simple one, and if correct could have been presented simply. But the discussions of the last three and a half years, which have revealed so many shortcomings in his arguments, have necessitated advocacy, rather than a presentation of evidence which could stand by itself. And since the objections raised have seemed to most scholars fatal to his theory the core of the matter has been further overlaid by repetitious arguments and criticism. The present reviewer has suffered more than most since he had been alone in the position of being able to answer Palmer's unsupported arguments from knowledge of the unpublished material. From the Preface through every introduction to the quotations from the notebooks the reader is presented with Palmer's special pleading for his cause. He doth protest too much-and his anxiety leaves me, for one, with the impression that he is himself uneasy about a theory which requires so much dialectic in its support and attacks (however veiled) upon scholars who can no longer answer back.