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15 April 2013
Early Bronze Age settlement on Greek island of Keros

The island of Keros is famous for the assemblage of fragmentary Cycladic marble figurines known as the Keros Hoard - a collection of artefacts purportedly found by looters at the site of Kavos on the west coast of this now uninhabited Greek island in the Cyclades, southeast of Naxos in the Mediterranean. The figurines were said to have inspired the work of Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore.
     Now, archaeologists will be returning to the island to conduct a survey that they hope will shed additional light on the settlement and civilisation that constituted the famous hoard's context, with an eye toward further targeted excavations.
     The ancient people who presumably produced or traded the figurines inhabited a settlement that evidently flourished during the 3rd millennium BCE as a part of the Early Bronze Age Cycladic civilisation. Excavations carried out under the direction of Professor Colin Renfrew of the University of Cambridge and the British School at Athens from 2006 to 2007 uncovered more fragmentary Cycladic figurines, vessels and other objects made of marble, possibly broken elsewhere and brought to Kavos for deposition.
     In 2008 a large area identified as part of a Cycladic period settlement on the nearby associated islet of Dhaskalio was excavated, revealing a substantial building 16 metres long and 4 metres wide - considered to be the largest from this period in the Cyclades - within which was discovered an assemblage comprising a chisel, an axe-adze and a shaft-hole axe of copper or bronze. Surveys showed evidence of Early Bronze Age occupation on most of the islet, making this the largest archaeological site in the Cyclades.

Edited from Popular Archaeology (25 march 2013)

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