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Department of Archaeology



The today uninhabited island of Keros, in the Cyclades, Greece, was in the Early Bronze Age (in use from ca. 2750BC to 2300BC) the site of the world’s earliest maritime sanctuary, and a thriving centre for metal production, with monumental architecture, and much evidence for crucial developments in architecture.

The site first came to prominence in the 1960s, when Colin Renfrew and Christos Doumas (separately) visited the site and discovered that part of it had been subject to looting. The looted area was investigated archaeologically in 1963 by Doumas, with further investigation in 1967 by Zapheiropoulou and in 1987 by Renfrew, Doumas and Marangou. The publication of this work followed in 2007.

Since then three major international collaborative projects have been carried out on Keros. These projects have completely transformed our understanding of what was previously seen as a Cycladic enigma. The work done has defined the site as central in the networks of the Early Bronze Age, a centre of congregation for long-lived pan-Cycladic ritual practices as well as a centre of power where the greatest architectural undertakings of the age housed centralised craft practices, set in a landscape of intensified agricultural innovations and satellite settlements.


Excavations are directed by Colin Renfrew and Michael Boyd of the McDonald Institute, University of Cambridge, under a permit given by the Greek Ministry of Culture to the British School at Athens. The project runs a field school, directed by Evi Margaritis of the Cyprus Institute (Assistant Director of the excavation), with tuition and academic credit provided by the Cyprus Institute.



To purchase Keros publications, click here.



Professor Colin Renfrew, project director
Dr Michael Boyd, project co-director



Project Tags

Material Culture
Periods of interest: 
Copper/Bronze Age
Geographical areas: 
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Material Culture
Socio-Politics of the Past
Field Methods
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