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Kate Harrell
Jan Driessen

Evidence for ritual breakage in the Cycladic Early Bronze Age

The Special Deposit South at Kavos on Keros

Colin Renfrew

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The Symposium ‘Damaged Goods’, held at Louvain-la-Neuve in November 2013, offered the welcome opportunity of reviewing the wide range of contexts in which artefacts, sometimes artefacts of high value, were broken in early times, and found their way into the archaeological record. Sometimes these artefacts seem to have been deliberately broken. But while the consequences of past actions can often be directly observed in the archaeological record, the purpose or intent underlying these actions must always, to some extent, be a matter of inference, undertaken at the present time. Therein lies part of the intellectual challenge which the subject and indeed the symposium presents.

Here a brief account is given of the excavations undertaken at the Special Deposit South at Kavos on the Cycladic island of Keros in the years 2006 to 2008 (fig. 7.1). It will be argued that these must be interpreted as documenting deliberate breakage (Renfrew 2007b) on a large scale, taking place at...


Senior Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge

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