Research Items


    Chronology and Archæology.—In Antiquity for June, Dr. G. A. Reisner examines the method of dating by means of objects from Egypt with special reference to stone vessels found in Crete and Mesopotamia, and incidentally lays down certain principles for its employment. (1) Conclusions have often been reached on the dating of single objects found in Egypt and little attention has been paid to its range. It is, therefore, necessary to know the whole range of time during which the object occurs in Egypt and the variations in form which it assumes in that time. (2) An Egyptian object found abroad must be identical in form, material, and technique with a type of known range in Egypt. It must be remembered also that most objects in Egypt pass through two stages of development, an earlier stage of practical use and a second in which more or less degenerate"examples are made for burial purposes only. Taking the history of stone vessels in Egypt, it would appear that the period during which we might expect an export is that from the.time of Zer (third king of Dynasty I.) to the end of Dynasty III.; but the export as gifts, especially royal gifts, might have taken place down to the end of Dynasty V. or even VI. Examining the evidence from the royal site at Knossos, it would appear that there is no object which can be dated with safety to the predynastic period or even Dynasties I.-II. Sir Arthur Evans's correlation of Early Minoan III., Middle and Late Minoan, with the Egyptian periods is correct in all essentials, but some modification is required for the correlation of the Cretan Neolithic and Early Minoan I. and II., as the history of Egyptian stone vessels has progressed considerably since the studies upon which he relied. Taking the material from Ur, so far as published, while the technique has some similarity to the most usual form of Egyptian technique—the boring with a stone—none of the vessels reported from Ur is of Egyptian origin, and they serve no useful purpose in the correlation of the early Sumerian and Egyptian periods.

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    Research Items. Nature 127, 952–953 (1931).

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