Egypt Exploration Fund   [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1893-1894

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Progfess of Egyptology.

tomb of Maket at Kahun, one of the pivots of the discussion, I learn
that Petrie is now inclined to attribute it, with all its contents, to the
XVIIIth Dynasty, instead of as formerly to about 1100 B.C.

In this connection we can hardly omit a reference to Arthur Evans'
researches among Mycenaean remains in Crete. Students of this period
are familiar with the recurrence of certain figures or patterns, chiefly on
the engraved seals. Arthur Evans claims to have discovered that these
"symbols" are arranged on principles independent of Egyptian or
Asianic systems, and are nothing less than a Mycenaean system of picto-
graphic or hieroglyphic writing, the arj/xaTa \vypd of Homer. The
" syllabary " offers numerous parallels, he thinks, on the one hand with
the incised marks on potsherds found by Petrie at Gurob, and on the
other with the later Cypriote, of which it may be the progenitor; it had
two phases, the one pictographic, like the Hittite, the other linear, and
distinctly alphabetic in character (Athenseum, 1894, p. 813). I may
here mention that in the Atk-riov for 1892, p. 73, some tombs at Nauplia
are described, of which one is said to have contained a Mycenaean vase
with writing signs. The new theory formed the subject of a paper read
before the British Association on August 11, 1894, and will doubtless be
published in due course with the full illustrations which are necessary.
Till then, criticism would be premature. But we may note that the
theory of an independent pree-Phoenician, and even, so to speak, praa-
Oriental system of writing comes very appropriately just now, when the
reaction is strongly setting against the notion of a universal Oriental
origin of things. Ottfried Miiller long ago stood out against what was
then the prevailing tendency: but in the new impulses lately given to
the study of Oriental, and especially of Egyptian elements in the early
civilizations of the West, it is evident that there is again some danger of
going too far, and of minimising the independent and indigenous causes
which in the Western races contributed to the evolution of their
culture. This tendency, which Salomon Beinach terms the " Mirage
Oriental" is set forth and combated by him in an admirable paper pub-
lished in nos. 5, 6 of L'Anthropologic for 1893. He contends that there
is absolutely no evidence to prove the existence of Semitic or Cushite
influence on Central, Northern, or Western Europe, either in the
Neolithic period or at the beginning of the age of metals. Later
perhaps, at the beginning of the thirteenth century B.C., the Western
civilizations became in some sense tributary to that of Egypt, but the
basis of these civilizations remains absolutely indigenous, and follows a
regular development. The Myceneean civilization, an episode in the
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