The Annual of the British School at Athens


    THE most valuable contribution to this issue of the annual is the report by Messrs. R. M. Dawkins and M. L. W. Laistner on the famous Kamares Cave in Crete. This has been known for more than twenty years as a prehistoric sanctuary, but its complete investigation was carried out only in 1913 under the auspices of the British School at Athens. The early fame of the cave was due to the discovery in the early nineties of a number of Vases and a few figurines. The work has now been successfully accomplished under considerable difficulties. The general result is that the votive objects which form so striking a feature of other caves and mountain sanctuaries in Crete—the libation tables of Psychro, the shields and bronzes of the Idæan cave, and the figurines of Petsofá—are conspicuously absent. The question then arises whether the Kamares Cave was really a sanctuary or only a shelter. The writers conclude that its position renders its use as a shelter improbable; the finds themselves, if they do not positively suggest a sanctuary, equally negative the idea of a dwelling, because houses of the Bronze Age in Crete invariably yield obsidian, while not a single flake was found in this cave; The pottery, again, does not suggest domestic uses. On the other hand, the restricted range of the pottery shapes suggests a sanctuary in which votive vessels were deposited. The cave, in short, was probably a sanctuary of the tutelary divinity of the mountain.

    The Annual of the British School at Athens.

    No. xix. Session 1912-1913. Pp. viii + 314. (London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1914.) Price 25s. net.

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    The Annual of the British School at Athens . Nature 94, 419 (1914).

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