Evans, Arthur
The ‘Tomb of the Double Axes’ and associated group, and the pillar rooms and ritual vessels of the ‘Little Palace’ at Knossos’ — London, 1914

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THE TOMB OF THE DOUBLE AXES

of the latest phase of the Knossian Palace. 'The Mace-bearer's Tomb' (no. 3),
on the other hand, and Tombs 1 a, 4, and 6, illustrate the period of incipient
decline (L. M. Ill a) that succeeded the fall of the Great Palace. These latter
interments therefore are contemporary with the bulk ot those from the cemetery
of Zafer Papoura.

The first clue to this new group of tombs was afforded by a chance discovery
made in 1909 by a peasant while digging a trench in his vineyard, at the north
end of the Isopata plateau. Here, beneath a bank that bordered his property on
the west side, he brought to light a small deposit of Minoan relics. It was
natural to conclude that these objects, consisting of stone vases and the remains
of bronze weapons, had formed part of the loot of some neighbouring tomb,
and had possibly been left behind by its rifler at a time when he carried away
other objects of greater intrinsic value. A cutting was therefore made along-
the foot of the bank, at first ineffectually, to the north and then to the south,
which resulted, after a week's work, in the discovery of Tomb no. 1 of the
present series.

Further investigations were undertaken in 1910, in which (as in the case
of the earlier found tombs) I had the invaluable assistance of Gregorios Antoniou,
the most expert tomb-hunter of the Levant, and the result of these researches was
to bring- to light five more chamber-tombs, in this case cut out of the soft
' kouskouras' rock. The location of these was partly due to trenching along the
edge of the plateau, partly to the sinking of shafts in places where, owing to the
character of the surface vegetation, it seemed probable, in Gregori's opinion,
that there might be an early cutting belowr. As in the case of the cemetery of Zafer
Papoura, a serviceable guide was supplied by clumps of fennel, a plant with
exceptionally long roots, and which therefore grows by preference in places
where there has been previous excavation.

In the excavation of the tombs I had the assistance of Dr. Duncan Mac-
kenzie, to whose day-book and careful observations I am greatly indebted.
The extraordinary points of interest and delicate details in the planning of the
two great chamber-tombs—that of' the Double Axes' (no. 2) and the ' Tomb of the
Polychrome Vases' (no. 5)—necessitate a more elaborate study than is generally
entailed by the usually simple monuments of this class. This work has been
carried out with minute care by Mr. Christian Doll, plans and sections by whom,
completed early in the present year, are here reproduced.

§ 2. The Isolated Deposit, and Tombs 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

The most important and best-preserved relic contained in the isolated deposit
which gave the first clue to the existence of this group of tombs was the inlaid
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