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Colloquium: Excavating Keros: The Oldest Maritime Sanctuary in the World

Event Details:

  • Date: Thursday 8th Dec 2016
  • Time: 18:30
  • Venue: The Cyprus Institute - Events Room, 1st floor Seminar Room, Novel Technologies Building, Athalassa Campus
  • Speaker: Prof. Colin Renfrew, Emeritus Disney Professor of Archaeology, and former Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge

* The colloquium will be in English, the event is open to the public, light refreshments will be served after the talk.

Recent research in the mini-archipelago to the southeast of Naxos (the ‘small Cyclades’) has highlighted the remarkable attraction and centrality from an early period of the island of Keros. This small and today uninhabited island was for decades one of the most enigmatic archaeological sites in Greece, the subject of varied speculation. Now systematic research has transformed our understanding of the site and revealed its central role in the Early Bronze Age Aegean (ca. 2750-2300), illuminating key questions of Greek prehistory. The identification of Keros as the world’s earliest maritime sanctuary rests on a detailed understanding of the ritual practices that created two remarkable ‘special deposits’ at Kavos at the west end of the island, made up of hundreds of fragmented marble sculptures and thousands of broken marble vessels and finewares. This lecture will describe excavations there in 2006-2008, surveys carried out in 2012-2013 and 2015, and a new excavation programme in the settlement at Dhaskalio that began in 2016. It will examine the role of Keros as a ‘centre of congregation’, a class of sites (like Stonehenge or Göbekli Tepe) acting as a regional centre for a dispersed population.

About the speaker:
c renfrewDr Colin Renfrew is an Emeritus Disney Professor of Archaeology, and former Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge. Currently Senior Fellow, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. Born 1937, Ph.D (1965), University of Cambridge. Lecturer then Reader in Prehistory and Archaeology at the University of Sheffield between 1965 and 1972, and from 1972 to 1981 Professor of Archaeology and Head of Department at the University of Southampton. Master of Jesus College, Cambridge from 1986-1997. From 1981-2004 Disney Professor of Archaeology at Cambridge, and from 1990-2004 Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. Member of the House of Lords since 1991.
Elected Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 1996. Recipient of the Lucy Wharton Drexler medal of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, 2003 and Recipient of the 2003 European Science Foundation Latsis Prize. Recipient of 2004 Balzan Prize in the field of “Prehistoric Archaeology”.
Author of The Emergence of Civilisation (1972), Before Civilisation, the Radiocarbon Revolution and Prehistoric Europe (1973), The Archaeology of Cult: the Sanctuary at Phylakopi (1985), Archaeology and Language: the Puzzle of Indo-European Origins (1987), Loot, Legitimacy and Ownership: the Ethical Crisis in Archaeology (2000), Figuring it out: parallel visions of artists and archaeologists (2003), Prehistory: the making of the human mind (2007).

Excavator of Saliagos (1964-65), Sitagroi (1968-70), Quanterness (1972-74), Phylakopi (1974-77), Markiani (1987), Keros (1987, 2006-2008, 2016-2018).

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This event is part of the CyI Colloquium Series

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