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Keros Island

The most enigmatic areas of Greece

Hearing its name, one might think nothing special. It’s an island that may be still on the outer surface, but hidden below lays the history of Cycladic culture. A vast inhospitable mountainous landscape, lacking luxuries such as potable water and electricity. Abandoned by humans. Archaeologists worldwide have called it “The most ancient island sanctuary in the world.” It has become one of the most enigmatic areas of Greece on an impressive scale. A trail was discovered that connects this sacred island with the rocky islet of Dhaskalio, known to be a Cycladic period settlement which had one of the most important harbours of classical antiquity. Findings that date back prior to the Pyramids of Egypt have been highly esteemed.

Keros, located in the southern Cyclades between Naxos and Santorini, is the site where Cycladic figurines and ceramic vessels and utensils were unearthed. The artifacts which comprised the famed Keros Hoard, were discovered in the area known as Kavos and had been deposited there from elsewhere. They were broken fragments when they arrived and none of them matched. In 1884, the archaeologist Ulrich Köhler excavated and discovered The Harpist and The Flute Player along with two female statuettes, which were clear samples of marble sculptures from the Early Cycladic period. Today, these miniature Cycladic musicians are found on display at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. Further excavations on the island brought to light information about metallurgy in Keros where three metal axes, dating back to 2750 – 2550 BC, were found. Apparently, rituals were held based on evidence from the remains of a small circular structure containing 350 sea stones in its interior. Thus, Keros is one of the first important sanctuaries in the Aegean Sea during the Bronze Age. Due to the island’s cultural wealth, it has been repeatedly plundered by antiquities smugglers, scattering the testimonies and history of its findings throughout the world.

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