Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


15 June 2011

Island of broken figurines

Research Features, University of Cambridge, 11-06-2011

On a June morning in 1963 Colin Renfrew stepped from a caïque boat onto the scrub-covered Aegean Island of Keros on the basis of a tip-off. In search of material for his graduate studies, the young Cambridge graduate had been intrigued by rumours of a recent looting of the almost uninhabited island relayed to him by a Greek archaeologist. Sure enough, evidence of looting abounded. As he reported back to the Greek Archaeological Service, on whose permit he had been surveying the Greek Cycladic islands, smashed marble statues and bowls and broken pottery lay scattered over the hillside. Despite the destruction, it was clear that the fragments were Early Cycladic, an interesting find in itself. In fact, as he was to discover, he had also stumbled upon the first evidence of an astonishing Bronze Age ritual.

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