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Bronze Age Greek Island of Keros Visualized in New Documentary

Proposed 3D visualization of the settlement at the islet of Dhaskalio. Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture

Keros, the small, uninhabited Cycladic island south of Naxos, will be the subject of the first collaboration between The National Geographic and the Greek television network COSMOTE TV, premiering on October 5th.

The island was one of the most important Cycladic settlements during the Bronze Age, reaching its peak of its civilization around 2,500 BC.

In the mid-20th century, archaeologists found a wealth of the iconic flat-faced Cycladic figurines on the island, a spectacular find that has since then been known as the “Keros Hoard.”

These iconic figurines were quickly purchased by collectors and museums around the world.

Cycladic figurines, such as those found in Keros, inspired many artists who saw links between the ancient style and contemporary art, embodied especially by Picasso, in his angular figures.

Professor Colin Renfrew and Dr. Kostas Paschalidis at the site of Kavos, on Keros with the islet of Dhaskalio in the background. Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture

From 2006-2008, a team of archaeologists, led by Professor Colin Renfrew, Co-director of the Cambridge Keros Project, and National Geographic Explorer, excavated the West coast of Keros, which is thought to be the source of the sculptures found there.

Metalworking finds from the islet of Dhaskalio. Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture

The same group of archaeologists also excavated the site of Dhaskalio, a small island that was connected to Keros in antiquity, where they found evidence of a massive settlement that was important to the region during the Bronze Age.

Study of a marble figurine from Keros. Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture

The archaeologists also found evidence of of the largest building in the Cyclades during the Early Bronze Age on Dhaskalio. Their discoveries also revealed large, terraced walls and homes that formed a pyramid-like shape on the island. Perhaps most amazingly, underneath the structures, evidence of advanced plumbing was found.

The islet of Dhaskalio as seen from the site of Kavos, on Keros. Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture

These finds make Dhaskalio, and Keros by extension, one of the most important Bronze Age sites anywhere in the Aegean.

The documentary about the fascinating ancient site will allow viewers to travel back in time and further understand the importance of Keros in the Bronze Age. Be sure not to miss it next Monday, October 5th.

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