THE STONE AND BRONZE AGES IN ITALY AND SICILY.*
THE institution of the Craven Travelling Fellowship may fairly be cited in proof of the fact that Oxford is not neglect- ful of the duty of adapting her ancient endowments to the needs of modern research. She can point to a distinguished list of Craven Fellows (such, for example, as Mr. Hogarth) who have acquired by travel that first-hand knowledge of the sites and monuments of antiquity which is indispensable to the researcher in ancient history and archaeology. Mr. Peet's work deserves a high place amongst the studies with which it may fairly be compared. We sometimes hear of the" recent " revival of classical archaeology in Italy, and tend to forget that Italian scholars have been engaged for nearly forty years in laying broad and deep the foundations of a science of pre- historic archaeology and ethnology as far as it concerns their native peninsula. It is strange that amongst the workers in this field outside of Italy we find a Swede and a Russian, but no Englishman. Now, however, Mr. Peet has redeemed the credit of British scholarship. He has chosen a strictly defined subject—the Stone and Bronze Ages—and has worked unflinchingly through all the material, published and unpub- lished, in the museums of Italy and Sicily, thus acquiring the right to be heard on the chronological and racial problems involved. Wherever he differs from the views of the great Italian excavators—be it Colini or Pigorini or Orsi—be expresses his conclusions with modesty, and supports them with clear and cogent reasoning, and he can never be accused of haste in forming his judgments. For example, he evidently leans to the theory that there were close relations during the Bronze Age between Southern Italy and the Balkan Peninsula which may account for some resemblances between Italian products and those which have been found in Bosnia. We could almost wish that he had been bold enough to co-ordinate the facts which lend colour to this hypothesis and press it more strongly • The Stone and Bronze Aga in Rain and Sielly. By T. Erie Peet, Craven Fellow in the University of Oxford. Oxford; at the Clarendon Press. [16e. net.-1
on our acceptance. In the meanwhile we have to piece together the details from different passages in his book. On p. 415 he is very clear as to the Balkan origin of " incised " pottery, and tells us that he found confirmation of his theory in a visit to the museum at Belgrade. In a later passage (p. 427) he speaks less confidently as to certain other traces of Balkan importation. On the other hand, on p. 395 he seems disposed to accept Cordenons's explanation of the similarity between the products of the Veneto and those of the Northern Balkans by the supposition of identity of race. The problem is one which must be solved, if at all, by "scientific excavation with careful attention to stratification," as Mr. Peet says.
Mr. Peet is, we are glad to say, very decided upon one point, and that of cardinal importance,—viz., as to the " Italic " character of the terramara folk. He expresses his regret that Brizio, the leading exponent of the contrary view, no longer lives to defend his case, but judgment has in reality gone against him. The terramara is beyond doubt the earliest manifestation of the spirit of law and order which made Rome queen of the world. But there remains a difficult question. What change or shifting of population took place in the Early Iron Age P Mr. Peet hardly does more than hint at his own views on this subject, which falls outside the scope of his Erstlingsarbeit. Is it too much to hope that he will attack the problem in a second volume ? He owes it to himself and to the commonwealth of scholars to do so.