Page images

St. Mary's, Haverfordwest.-A scheme is on foot for restoring the west window of this Church in memory of the late Vicar, which it is hoped will meet with success. The north gateway, which formed part of the destroyed thirteenth-century charnel chapel, has been restored at the expense of the Association, under the direction of Mr. W. D. Caroe; caen stone was used as far as possible, fragments of which were found in the churchyard and in the surrounding walls. The work was afterwards sprayed with a hardening solution to prevent the stone decaying. Handsome iron gates have been presented by Dr. Henry Owen.

Roch Castle.-Considerable further repairs have been carried out on this building. Gun-metal casements have been inserted, the pointing of the walls completed, a turret on the battlements has been rebuilt, and various internal improvements carried out. owner has also built a wall round the Castle with suitable gates.


Llandeloy Church.--This ruined building is shortly to be rebuilt. The ancient walls, except such portions as are not secure, will not be interfered with, and all original features will be preserved.

Prehistoric Weapons.-In October last some objects were found on the south-eastern side of Precelly Mountain, which were thought to be stone axe-heads, arrow-heads, etc. The gentleman in whose. possession they were, upon being communicated with, was kind enough to place them at the disposal of the Association, and furnished particulars of the exact locality where found, etc. Upon examination, they proved to be field stones only.

St. Michael's, Pembroke. Two pieces of what was apparently a cross belonging to this Church have been discovered, until now used as a stile by Hill Farm. They will shortly be removed to the precincts of the Church.

St. Daniel's, Pembroke.-Part of a hand-mill or a quern has lately been dug up in the churchyard here, and is being preserved in the Church.

Popton Cross. A portion of the village Cross, found in a garden. wall there, has lately been rescued and set up again by Colonel Mirehouse, of Angle; the shaft was broken, but a piece of concrete has been joined on to it, the whole thing set up on some concrete works; the upper part of the Cross above the arms is missing, but probably is somewhere about, and may be recovered if a careful search is made.

J. W. PHILLIPS, Hon. Secretary.

THE newly-formed "Cedewain Field Club" has, during the past year, carried out an admirable and varied programme. Papers have been read. The Excursions were well attended. An excellent Report of the year's proceedings is edited by the Vice-President, Mr. Basil Evan Jones, a zealous member of the Cambrian Association.

Archaeologia Cambrensis


JULY, 1912



THE alleged Eastern origin of Spiral Ornament has been ably discussed by Mr. George Coffey, M.R.I.A., in his series of articles on "The Origins of Prehistoric Ornament in Ireland." The question much disputed has been whether this style of ornament is essentially of Eastern or of Western origin, and, if Eastern, whether Egyptian or Assyrian. It is commonly recognised that Greek Art was largely influenced by contact with Egypt. Are we to go further back than Egyptian civilization, and trace what is distinctly characteristic of Egypt to a still earlier period? Is the "Spiral" motive with which we are immediately concerned a modification of the lotus ornament, or was it developed independently?

Mr. W. H. Goodyear in "The Grammar of the Lotus" maintains that the Ionic capital is derived from the lotus, and he refers the rosette, which figures so frequently in Egyptian ornament, to the ovary of the lotus. A ceiling pattern from the tombs of the XVIII Dynasty, circ. 1600 B.C., as given in "Histoire de l'Art Egyptien d'apres les Monuments," illustrates the system of interlocking spirals with associated lotus


1 Journal R.S.A., Ireland, 1894-5-6.



It is further suggested that "the familiar key or fret pattern, so generally regarded as distinctive of Grecian ornament, is in fact a squared four-fold spiral, and one of the many conventional forms of Egyptian spiral and lotus ornament." "The spiral is in fact simplified to straight lines." This is fully worked out with abundant illustrations in Mr. Coffey's article.

But we must leave this, and go on to ask how the spiral was brought into connection with Western civilization. This was through the intercourse, direct and indirect, established from very early times between Egypt, Asia Minor, and the Egean. The date assigned to the commencement of this intercourse varies from B.C. 1800 to B.C. 1200. Professor Flinders Petrie in his "Notes on the Antiquities of Mycena" remarks, "Certainly to Egypt a great deal must be attributed, if not indeed all the elements of importance. The main feature of decoration is the spiral pattern, often elaborately involved. And the very elaborations that we find are exact copies of Egyptian decorations. . . . On the Egyptian ceilings are also the rosettes and the key-fret which are so frequent in Greece; and the palmetto is almost identical with a wooden panel bearing a derived lotus pattern of about 1300 B.C. which I found at Gurob." Mr. Coffey asserts, on the evidence of numerous finds of Mycenæan pottery in Egypt, and of Egyptian objects at Mycena and Ialysos (Rhodes), dated with names of the XVIII Dynasty (1587-1327 B.C.), and inscriptions of Thothmes III (1481-1449 B.C.), recounting among his tributaries the Kings of the Phoenicians and the Isles of the Great Sea, that the fifteenth century B.C. was the period at which the spiral of the Mycenæan patterns entered Europe through the gate of the Ægean.

But we are taken back to a much earlier date than this, for Sir Arthur Evans has found in Crete scarabs of the XII Dynasty (circ. 2700-2500 B.C.) which show the spiral design.

A diffi

So much for the dating of spiral ornaments. culty has arisen as to the route which this form of decoration followed in reaching the northern parts of Europe.

There has been noted a tendency of the spiral to degrade to, and to be replaced by, concentric circles, so much so that Sir Arthur Evans has been led to maintain that "the Spiral is non-existent in BronzeAge remains in Northern Italy, Gaul, and Britain." Exception must be taken to this statement as far as Britain and Ireland are concerned.

And there was a reason why the true spiral failed

[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

to make its direct way through Gaul to Britain. It took a roundabout course and reached the north-west of Europe by the Scandinavian route. And the reason suggested is this, that as during the Roman occupation of Britain the Channel was infested by Saxon pirates from the coast-lands between the Elbe and the Rhine, the passage was no less effectively closed for trade in earlier days. Trading enterprise sought a safer route, that between Norway and the Orkneys and Scotland. "Single spirals have been found incised in stones in two localities in Orkney. In Scotland examples of double or of single spirals, associated with concentric circle, cup and ring, and cup markings, are found on rock surfaces and sepulchral stones in Argyllshire,

Ayrshire, and Peebles-shire. In England they are found in Cumberland, Lancashire, and Northumberland."

In Ireland there is at New Grange, co. Meath, a remarkable display of spiral ornament, single and double, returning and interlocking, associated with chevron, zig-zag, and triangle patterns.

Mr. Coffey, in the article already referred to, men


Stone with Spiral, Llanbedr, near Harlech (Arch. Camb., 1867)

tions that "an isolated example of spiral ornament occurs in Merionethshire, Wales." Of this stone, Mr. R. Jones Morris, local secretary for the county, kindly supplies a photograph. An unsatisfactory illustration from a rubbing by Rev. R. Williams Mason is given in Arch. Camb., 1867, p. 155, in an article by Rev. E. L. Barnwell on " Marked Stones in Wales."

1 Mr. Coffey, "Origins of Prehistoric Ornament in Ireland," J.R.S. Antiquaries, Ireland, 1896

« PreviousContinue »