Since 1921, when the First Volume of this work was published, the
active researches set on foot by me to clear up moot points and to enlarge
the horizon in many directions have been carried on almost continuously.
The excavation of Knossos itself may almost be said to have renewed its
youth. The results, indeed, have been a perpetual source of wonderment,
while, at the same time, it may fairly be claimed for them that they have
supplemented and confirmed in a remarkable manner the general conclusions
set forth in the previous Volume.
They have filled up gaps and made the story more continuous. They
have helped, moreover, to set it on a new foundation. As regards the actual
birth of the more advanced type of culture that may properly be called
' Minoan ', the discovery of houses beneath the Central Court belonging to
the very latest Neolithic stage has supplied fresh links with the pre-dynastic—
or proto-Libyan—civilization of the Nile Valley and confirmed the view that
it was thence that came the first formative influence that reached the ' Mid-
Sea land' and enabled Cretan civilization gradually to detach itself from
an inert Aegean mass. - "■[
The fresh materials obtained by Dr. Xah'thudides from the primitive bee-
hive tombs of Mesara in the extreme Southern district of the Island have given
substance to this view. As a sequel to these, moreover, explorations under-
taken by myself across the whole central zone of Crete, and here for the first
time recorded, have made it possible to trace at intervals the course of a very
ancient Minoan paved way, which ultimately brought Knossos into connexion
with what seems to have been an important port at Komo on the Libyan Sea.
The corollary to all this has been the emergence of new and striking
evidence of the importance formerly attaching to the Southern approach to
the Palace site itself, of which the earlier excavations had given no inkling.
In Sections of the first part of this Volume are described the piers of the
mighty Viaduct by which the ' Great South Road' approached the bridge-
head on this side and the monumental ' Stepped Portico' that led up from it
to the South-VVest Palace Angle. Here, moreover, as in the case of another