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Four-Year Excavation Programme on Greek Island of Keros Ends, Uncovering the Sophisticated Architectural Remains of an Advanced Civilisation


Archaeologists from The Cyprus Institute lead by Asst. Professor Evi Margaritis, along with their colleagues at the University of Cambridge and the Ephorate of the Cyclades, have completed their four-year programme of excavations at the settlement adjoining the prehistoric sanctuary on Keros in the Cycladic Islands of Greece, the earliest maritime sanctuary in the world (2750-2240BC).

They have uncovered a series of impressive stairways, drainage systems and stone-built structures revealing a sophisticated urban architecture unprecedented for the period. The settlement, on what is now the small island of Dhaskalio, was originally linked by a narrow causeway with the nearby location at Kavos at the west of Keros, where remarkable quantities of broken marble sculptures and vessels, along with much broken pottery, had been ritually placed in two ‘Special Deposits’ over a period of some five hundred years.

The four-year programme of work (2015-2018) by the Cambridge Keros Project, under the auspices of the British School at Athens, follows the excavations conducted from 2006 to 2008 at Kavos in which the remarkable marble finds from the Special Deposit South were recovered. Some of these sculptures had originally been as much as a metre tall: the context of their discovery revealed that they had been deliberately broken in other islands of the Cycladic Archipelago, and brought to Kavos for formal disposal in a series of rituals which are now gradually being clarified by the new excavations.

You can read the full article on the website of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge here

The story has also been covered in the Greek press here.