Evans, Arthur J.
The Palace of Minos: a comparative account of the successive stages of the early Cretan civilization as illustred by the discoveries at Knossos (Band 3): The great transitional age in the northern and eastern sections of the Palace — London, 1930

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BULL RELIEFS FROM 'ATREUS' TOMB

i93

of this material extend inland across the whole Central zone of the Island
there can be little doubt that Knossos itself was the source of these as of other
blocks of this material already known both at Mycenae and Tiryns.1 In the
present case this conclusion will be seen to be of far-reaching significance.

Photographic copiesof the sculptured reliefs on the two fragmentary slabs Found in
in question are shown in Figs. 133,136. Thanks to the careful re-examination f™treus'
of the evidence by Mr. F. N. Pryce for the new Catalogue of Sculptures in facade.
the British Museum2 it is now clearly ascertained that both these slabs
belonged to the series of fragments presented by Lord Elgin to the British
Museum as the result, it would seem, of the excavations carried out on his
behalf in front of the facade of the ' Atreus' or, as it was known to him,
the ' Agamemnon' Tomb.3

That the two legs of the stationary subject shown in Fig. 136, are
those of a bovine animal is clear enough, but the other figure set up on its
broken edge, as if it belonged to a rampant beast, gave rise to a curious mis-
conception. It was in fact described both in the original Catalogue of the
B.M. Sculptures 4 following Dr. A. S. Murray,5 and by Monsieur Perrot in his

Sup-
posed
lion—
a bull.

1 The Cretan origin of these was noted by
Dorpfeld, Ath. Mitth., xxx (1905), p. 288.

2 Vol. i, Pt. I, Prehellenic and Early Greek
Sculpture, p. 14 seqq. The photographs from
which Figs. 133, 136 were taken were kindly
supplied me by Mr. F. N. Pryce. He ob-
serves in connexion with these sculptured
slabs (p. 14) that the proposal to assign the
date of the Treasury to c. 1400 B. c.—or,
rather, considerably later-—-must be definitely
discarded. He accepts my view that they are
of the M. M. Ill Period.

3 Op. cit., pp. 16, 27. These two slabs
seem to have been found by ' Mr. Vlassopoulo
of Argos ' in the course of his excavations for
Lord Elgin at 'the Tomb of Agamemnon',
and had apparently been removed from there
early in i|g6, before Leake's visit. They
were unquestionably the two unlabelled slabs
shipped in the Braakel from Piraeus in 1806.
I called attention to this new evidence in
a communication made at the Annual Meet-
ing of the British School at Athens on Nov. 6,
1928 (see Report in The Timesand Manchester
Guardian of Nov. 7). A fuller discussion of the
subject has since appeared in my monograph

III.

on the Shaft Graves of Mycenae (Macmillans,
1929), to be reproduced at the end of this work.
To avoid repetition, however, I have incor-
porated in this section the part of that work
which relates to the Elgin slabs. In the course
of some friendly criticisms by Professor W. R.
Lethaby in the Builder (May 31, 1929) objec-
tion is made to the inference that these slabs
were found in the entrance area or in front of
the facade of the Tomb. He suggests that
they may have been found inside the Tomb
and belong to the inner chamber. But, as
Mr. E. J. Forsdyke points out, there is no
record of anything having been found by
Elgin's agent, Vlassopoulo, inside. That the
inside, indeed, was not thoroughly cleared by
him appears from Leake, Travels in the Morea,
ii, p. 373. He ' observes that there only wants
a little labour to complete Lord Elgin's excava-
tion, and to show the depth and nature of the
monument within' (March 17, 1806).

1 B. M. Catalogue of Sculpture (1st ed.,
1892), vol. i, no. 5.

5 History of Greek Sculpture (2nd ed.iSgo),
vol. i, p. 61.
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