10 THE ANTIQUITIES OF KAHUN
 
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already known to the Egyptians. The question then rests thus: the external evidence is clear for the dating of this pottery to the XIIth dynasty; the foreigners of the Mediterranean were already known to the Egyptians, and were actually living in this town : and this pottery is distinctly foreign or Aegean. The only difficulty lies in Greek archaeologists objecting to any such early age for such pottery. We will return to the question of age after considering the other varieties.

No. (2) is probably Egyptian, but is of very curious decoration. The dark bands are blackish blue, and are thick body colours like all the others, laid on a massive coarse red pottery. Part of the same vessel was found in the XIIth rubbish heap. The pattern reminds us most of that on the early tomb ceilings, in imitation of woven stuffs. No such pottery is known in any later age. (9) is a bit of an Egyptian cup of XIIth dynasty, with barbaric markings in black and white, (11) is the shoulder of a vase like (16). (13) is a smooth brown pot, lipless, with a black circle joining a black base and black side lines, on either side, and two red lines down by the handle. It is quite un-Egyptian. All of the above were found in the XIIth dynasty rubbish heaps, and have therefore a strong certificate of age.

20. Turning now to other pottery found in the town we notice the curious vessel (14,15). It is lipless, with merely a round hole for a mouth, like (12 & 13). The handle is like that of (12); and the pattern is evidently derived from that of basket-work. It was found in a chamber alongside of pottery of the XIIth dynasty. (16) is a type of vase which is not uncommon here; (19) belonging to the same, and shewing the pinched spout better; (11) shews the double handle of these vessels; (18) is similarly formed; and (17) though different material has the same handle. This type of (11, 16, 19) is wholly unknown in any later age in Egypt (18) was found alongside of pottery of the XIIth dynasty in a deep chamber. Lastly there is the black pottery (17, 20, 21) the latter piece being whitened by concretions. This pottery is common at Kahun, many pieces having been found last year (Kahun, XXVII, 199 to 202). It was found also by M. Naville along with scarabs of the XIIth & XIIIth dynasty at Khataneh, deep down in burials which could not have been later disturbed. Its age therefore seems well assured and it closely resembles in colour, form, and decoration the earliest Italian black pottery.

We summarise therefore that (1) Aegean pottery is found in rubbish of the XIIth dynasty. (2) Black Italian pottery is found in the town of the XII-XIII dynasty, as in graves at Khataneh. (3) Other foreign pottery is found in the town of the Xllth dynasty.

21. Negative evidence in this matter is important. The pottery of the XVIIIth & XIXth dynasty is well known now at Gurob in this same district. Pottery of the XXIInd to XXVth is known in the Illahun graves. Pottery of the XXVIth is exhaustively known at Defenneh. And that of the Greek and Roman periods at Naukratis and Tanis. All these successive periods are well known to us in their manufactures. But not one piece of these peculiar varieties has ever been found yet in any later period: nor conversely has any pottery of the later ages been found in the rubbish heaps of the XIIth dynasty. The main argument for a later date for this Aegean pottery is the fineness of the paste, and the high polish of the surface. No doubt these details appear like those of later times. But there is internal evidence contradicting a late date for these pieces. None are finer or thinner than (12 & 14). Now these belong to a class of vessel which is wholly unknown to myself, or to other students to whom I have referred, as ever having been found in historic pottery. The mouth is a simple hole without a lip, like a hole cut in a gourd. If such a type is unknown in Greek pottery, where can we match it? only so far as I know in the vase found in the Illahun pyramid (IV, 11) and in the earliest Amorite pottery of Syria. There I have found it in the lowest levels of Lachish about the beginning of the XVIIIth dynasty. Doubtless it may have existed before that, only Lachish was not yet built; but it is a type unknown to later ages. This evidence therefore shews that it must be earlier than the Mykenae pottery of Gurob, and not later than that.

22. Another line of evidence may be taken. We know now at Gurob that the style of the earliest Mykenae pottery, the false-necked vase (bugel kanne) with plain bands, belongs to about 1400 BC. (Amenhotep III). That pottery is highly finished, with a bright polish and fine iron glaze of red or orange. Such was already the development of pottery in the Aegean at that age. Who knows what went before that? No one as yet has found anything to date before that in Greece. What state the Aegean civilization was in at an earlier date we do not know. It has nothing to do with the historic civilization of Greece; it is a branch of the bronze age of Europe, as much so as Hallstadt or Etruria.


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