DUNCAN MACKE NZIE
b)' Mr. Edgar, who reports that of the masses of pottery föund in the
palace-well, all of which is ref'erablc to the period of which wo speak, no
more than ton fragments could be identified as of native manufacture.1
It is. now clear that the cominercial transactions of Melos have in this
respect become so onesidedly a mere matter of importation that there is no
longer anything to answer to the old trade-relations on a footing of mutual
advantage that apparently subsisted in the earlier da)'s of friendly inter-
coursc bctween Molos and Grete.
If wo inquire into the probable immediate cause of this decline \ve
shall not be far wrong if we attribute it to the decay of the obsidian industry
which for ages must have bcen the chief source of prospei-ity in Melos. In
a very important instanco evidcnce has been forthcoming to prove the con-
tinued manufacture of weapons in this material on a large scale down
to the early Mycenaean Age. Arrowheads in obsidian were found in
the Shaft Graves of Mycenae. In the Fourth Grave indeed there were
thirty-five in a heap,2 and there were no arrowheads in metal. It is
apparent then that, at the period to which is to be referred the deposit of
the Fourth Shaft Grave at Mycenae, arrowheads and by inference other
weapons in this material were manufactured on a scale which presupposes
an extensive industry in obsidian even as late as this era. Now the Shaft
(Iraves on internal evidence belong to the same general period as the earlier
elements of the palace at Knosscs and the earlier deposit of the Third City
at Phylakopi. If then, as has been suggested, this obsidian was from Melos,
the fact of itself throws an important light on the condition and extension of
the Melian trade in obsidian at the period to which the Shaft Graves belong.
In the chamber-tombs at Mycenae again obsidian arrowheads are
rejtlaced by arrowheads in bronze, which by this time apparently begins
In predominate in the manufacture of these warlike weapons.
The probable later history of the industry in Melos is quite inaecordance
with this evidence. The prehistoric capital of the island evidently attained
the aeme of its development and prosperity at a period contemporary with
that of the Shaft Tombs. At that era accordingly, if the evidence from these
tombs is cogent, the Melian trade in obsidian with the Greek mainland was
still on an extensive scale. It could not have been otherwise with Crete, the
rest of the Aegean, and the Anatolian coast-lands, including Troy.
The subsequent era—represented in the Beehive Tombs—sawr the
gradual Substitution of bronze for obsidian even in the case of those weapons
in the manufacture of which obsidian up tili now had held its own. This
process of Substitution was sure to lead to the gradual decline of a settle-
ment like Phylakopi, whose chief source of prosperity since time immemorial
had been the precious uniqu'e possession of its great obsidian quarries and
the exploitation of these in a gradually expanding trade in the Aegean
and probably with other lands.
1 See p. 160.
- [This, 1 he cuiTcnt Statement, lias Sohliemann's äuthority ; but See p. '223.—R.C.B.]