The site of Dhaskalio Kavos, on the remote Cycladic island of Keros, was extensively looted in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Investigations starting in1963 then revealed large quantities of fractured marble bowls, broken marble figures and smashed pottery of the Early Cycladic period from around 2500 BC. This report of the subsequent survey and rescue excavations of 1987-88 reveals the extraordinary richness of the site, now confirmed as one of the most prolific in Elite goods of the entire Aegean early bronze age. Was it an unprecedentedly rich Early Cycladic cemetery, recently wrecked by looters? Or was the damage deliberately produced during early bronze age times in some procedure of ritual breakage and ceremonial deposition? Here the survey of the site and the rescue excavations undertaken within the looted area are documented in detail, with a full account of the finds. Alternative explanations for this extraordinary deposit are explored. What has been termed 'the Keros Enigma', in the light of the finds at the site, can now be reconsidered with the full documentation which this volume offers.
Giorgos Gavalas (born 30 September 1968) is an independent scholar (PhD in Archaeology, University of Ioannina, Greece). Fellow of the Archaeological Society of Athens and currently Secretary of the Cycladic Studies Society. Formerly archaeologist with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture (Athens 2014-2015, central departments 2006-2009, Amorgos and Rhodes 1992-2005) and former research associate at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research (2001-2006). His main research interests lie in the archaeology of the Cyclades, both prehistoric and classical, and he is a specialist in textile tools and stone vessels. Colin Renfrew (Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, born 25th July 1937) was formerly Disney Professor of Archaeology and Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research in the University of Cambridge, and Master of Jesus College Cambridge from 1986 to 1997. He has excavated at a number of sites in prehistoric Greece and in the Orkney Islands, and is the author of many publications, including Prehistory: the making of the human mind. He is Fellow of the British Academy, Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, and was the recipient of the Balzan Prize in 2004.