I n the ten years which separated Schliemann’s death from the winter of 1899-1900, when the political liberation of Crete made it possible for Arthur Evans to begin the long-hoped-for excavation of the Cretan Knossos, research and controversy in Aegean archaeology dealt mainly with four outstanding questions. The first was the question of date. This had been fairly well indicated before Schlie­ mann’s time, by the occurrence on an inscribed scarab of Amenhotep III of the Eighteenth Egyptian Dynasty in one of the Mycenaean graves at Ialysus. But though this scarab clearly could not be of later date than the tomb in which it was found, it might have been already ancient when it was placed in it, an “heirloom” , to use a phrase of the advocates of a “ lowest possible dating” for Mycenaean things. But by 1890 Flinders Petrie had not only multiplied manyfold the evidence for Mycenaean borrowings of Egyptian objects, always of late Eighteenth or Nineteenth Dynasty workmanship, but had discovered the conclusive counterpart to this proof-Mycenaean objects buried in Egyptian tombs of Dynasties XVIII and XIX. As these objects in turn could not be later than the tombs which held them, it followed that, as neither the Mycenaean period was later than the Egyptian nor the Egyptian period than the Mycenaean, they must be accepted as contemporary. This conclusion was abundantly verified by the excavation of the palace of Amenhotep IV at Tell-elAmarna, effected in 1889 though not published till 1894; and it was supplemented in 1893 by a much earlier synchronism between certain

deposits of the date of Dynasty XII found by Petrie in 1890 at Kahun in Egypt and the contents of the Cretan cave at Kamares and Cretan tombs contemporary with it. This extended the outlines of an historical chronology of Aegean civilization back to the nine­ teenth or twentieth century, as long before the traditional date of the Trojan War as that war was before the days of Alexander the Great.1 In England, thanks mainly to the advocacy of “ latest possible” dates by influential members of the staff of the British Museum, these synchronisms were accepted reluctantly and gradually. Leaf in his introduction to Schuchhardt’s SchliemanrCs Excavations and his Companion to the Iliad in 1891-2 was, however, more venturesome; and in 1895 Andrew Lang’s Homer and the Epic frankly accepted the Shaft Graves as dated between 1500 and 1300 B.C., and was prepared to place the personal Homer “conjecturally” between 1200 and 1000 B.C ., within easy folk-memory, that is, of the generation which occupied them. In Germany the Greek Histories of Eduard Meyer and Julius Beloch and the second edition of Busolt, all published in 1893, accepted the Eighteenth Dynasty date for the climax of the culture represented by Mycenae and Tiryns, and discussed the whole question of the antecedents of the Homeric poems with corresponding freedom from chronological limitations; they did not, however, seriously question current theories as to the late date and gradual growth of the Homeric poems.