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The oldest maritime sanctuary? Dating the sanctuary at Keros and the Cycladic Early Bronze Age

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 February 2012

Colin Renfrew
Affiliation:
1McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3ER, UK (Email: acr10@cam.ac.uk; mjb235@cam.ac.uk)
Michael Boyd
Affiliation:
1McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3ER, UK (Email: acr10@cam.ac.uk; mjb235@cam.ac.uk)
Christopher Bronk Ramsey
Affiliation:
2Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford, Dyson Perrins Building, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK (Email: christopher.ramsey@rlaha.ox.ac.uk)

Extract

The sanctuary on the island of Keros takes the form of deposits of broken marble vessels and figurines, probably brought severally for deposition from elsewhere in the Cyclades. These acts of devotion have now been accurately dated, thanks to Bayesian analyses of the contemporary stratigraphic sequence on the neighbouring islet of Dhaskalio. The period of use—from 2750 to 2300 cal BC—precedes any identified worship of gods in the Aegean and the site is among the earliest ritual destinations only accessible by sea. The authors offer some preliminary thoughts on the definition of these precocious acts of pilgrimage.

Type
Research article
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd 2012

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