Department of Antiquities

Octopus Pot. AN1911.608
Knossos, Crete, Greece, Late Minoan II,
1450-1400 BC, Ceramic,
74.5 (H) x 54 cm (Diam.),
Arthur Evans bequest,1911,

Aegean World

The Aegean prehistoric collections of the Ashmolean Museum are the largest outside Greece and come primarily from archaeological excavations. Featuring distinguished pieces from the Neolithic, Early Cycladic, Minoan and Mycenaean eras, the core of the collection are the materials brought back to Oxford by Sir Arthur Evans from his excavations of the �Palace of Minos� at Knossos on Crete. Perhaps most precious among these are some 40 Linear B tablets (see link below), a representative sample of the accounting, taxation and production records from the palace. Other notable assemblages come from the Psychro Cave (A.J. Evans excavations), the Petsofas Peak Sanctuary on Crete (J.L. Myres excavations) and Phylakopi on Melos (R.M. Dawkins excavations). The discovery of great pre-classical societies in Greece inspired some forgeries which the collection holds, such as the gems of the so-called �Thisbe Treasure� and the �boy-god�.

Online Resources

For information relating to the collections contact Dr Susan Walker, Sackler Keeper of Antiquites until 31/12/2014 or Dr. Senta German, Andrew W. Mellon Teaching Curator, .