Egypt Exploration Fund [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1899-1900

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Foreign Relations.


Egyptian paintings, is seen pursuing a butterfly. These motives, parallels
to which recur on some of the lentoid gems of the island, are specifically
Nilotic and quite out of place in Crete. In this connexion it is worth
observing that these clay sarcophagi which form so characteristic a feature
in the Mycenaean sepulchral chambers of the island, and which have been
erroneously supposed to represent houses, are, in fact, almost literal copies
of the painted wooden chests of contemporary Egypt.

Still more interesting are the comparisons suggested by the paintings of
life-sized human figures that decorated the corridor leading from the S.W.
entrance of the Palace at Knossos and its southern propylaea. Here we see
large processional scenes of strikingly Egyptian character. The succession of
youths, perhaps in this case, too, tributaries, bearing vases set with precious
metals, irresistibly recalls the procession of Keft chieftains on the walls of
the Rekhmara tomb. Here, as elsewhere on the Knossian frescoes, the
Egyptian conventions of flesh-colouring are maintained—ruddy-brown for
the men, white for the women. The general attitude of the figures is also
the same: the heels and toes of both feet are represented flat on the
ground, but the modelling of the limbs is fuller and more advanced, the
eye is partly in profile, the outline of the face is almost classically Greek.
The hair, though dark and apparently curly, has not the triple locks rising
above the forehead which distinguish some of the Keft chieftains in the
Egyptian paintings; the mocassin-like leg gear is also replaced by simple
anklets of blue beads; but the similarity of the general effect remains.
The short tunic round the loins is of the same rich embroidered character,
and in one case indeed we seem to detect a similar pattern. The sash that
hangs from the front of the waist of the Keft youths ends at times in a
kind of beaded fringe. Those of the Knossian procession show a beaded
network hanging down from the projecting front of the tunic. Both
fashions somewhat recall the pendent uraei of Egyptian princes. The
most remarkably preserved of the youthful figures, that from the southern
propylaea, bears in his two hands a long pointed vase, apparently of silver
mounted with gold, which answers both to a typical Mycenaean ceramic
form and to one of the most characteristic of the metal vases borne by the
Keft chieftains.

These parallels acquire additional significance from the appearance of
some of the other characteristic forms of the Keft tributary offerings on
clay tablets found in the Palace of Knossos, accompanied by linear Mycenaean
inscriptions which apparently relate to the royal treasures. Conspicuous
among these is a vase of the Vapheio type, ox-heads like the gold
examples of the Rekhmara tomb, and objects with incurved sides which
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