of E. M.
contracted skeletons. The clay cist or ' larnax ' has a very long history
in Crete and specimens with rounded angles have now been found
associated with Early Minoan pottery in the Sepulchral Cave of Pyrgos
above referred to, North-east of Knossos.1 Those of the E. M. Ill
Period still show rounded corners and burial jars occur of oval form which
may be described as miniature cists. Both burial cists and jars occurred
in the Pachyammos cemetery (see Fig. 94).2 The vessels were simply buried
in the sand. They were closely packed together and range from E. M. Ill
to the close of M. M. III. In the case of the jars especially the bodies had
evidently been tightly trussed before the rigor mortis had set in. It seems
Fig. !)4. E. M. Ill Burial Cist and Jar: Pachyammos, East Crete, (t^c)
possible indeed that the ancient Cretans, like the Libyan tribe of the
Nasamones, described by Herodotos, had forced the dying to take a sitting
posture.11 Clay burial cists, some of oval form, and pots placed bottom
upwards, with contracted skeletons, are characteristic of prehistoric Egyptian
tombs.4 Have we not here the source of a long Minoan line ?
It will be seen that the Egyptian or ' Egypto-Libyan' connexions, of
which we have so many evidences during the Third Early Minoan Period, point
to the troubled time that intervenes between the Sixth and the Eleventh
Dynasties. According to the system here adopted the approximate date
of this Minoan Period would lie between 2400 and 2100 B.C., slightly
overlapping the Eleventh Dynasty.
1 See above, p. 59, and p. T50.
2 Seager, The Ceinetery of Pachyammos, Crete,
pp. 9-13, 28, PI. XII.
3 Herod., lib. IV, 190 ; cf. E. H. Hall
(Mrs. Dohan), Sphonngaras, p. 62.
4 e.g. De Morgan, Origines de PEgypte, pp.
i37j I3^> Figs. 467, 468 (Kawamil : the cist
Fig. 468 resembles Pachyammos types but with
holes in its sides instead of handles for the
attachment of the lid). For the clay burial
cists see too Petrie, Quibell. and Spurrell,
Naqada a?id Balias, PI. Ill, Ayrton and Loat,
El Mahasna, PI. VII. 38.