Archaeologists from the University of Cambridge have unearthed evidence of highly advanced engineering features beneath a pyramid-like rock promontory off Keros Island. The find is at a site some 4,000 years old where builders carved out the entire surface of the pyramid-shaped rock formation. According to the story, the Keros site was once covered with over 1,000 tons of imported white stones so that the pyramid would glisten under the Aegean sun. The site would have been the most imposing structure in the Cyclades rivaling the Colossus of Rhodes.
The team of joint director of the excavation Michael Boyd also found previously undiscovered engineering and craftsmanship wonders at the pyramid’s center, a complex of drainage tunnels etched out of the stone some 1,000 years before the Minoans created plumbing for the legendary Palace at Knossos. The scientist also reportedly found evidence of advanced metalworking and other discoveries.
The Dhaskalio promontory is a small islet that was once linked to the larger Keros Island when sea levels were lower millennia ago. Keros was a major sanctuary where complex rituals were enacted about 5,000 years ago. Archaeologists had previously uncovered thousands of marble Cycladic sculptures – the stylised human figures that had been religiously broken elsewhere and then buried on the small islet. Today, the slopes of Dhaskalio are barren, but thousands of years ago there was a vast complex of structures and buildings. Among the new finds on the islet were; two workshops full of metalworking debris, and objects including a lead ax, a mold for copper daggers and dozens of ceramic fragments from metalworking equipment.
The pyramid of terraces on the island would have acted as a beacon to seafarers from far off. Archaeologists think the white stone used for the pyramid were imported from Naxos 10 kilometres away. Lord Renfrew, joint director of the excavation, believes the structure was part of a harbor installation. Daskalio, was previously dubbed the ‘world’s oldest maritime sanctuary’ when another expedition made astounding early Bronze Age discoveries.
The site first came to prominence back in the 1960s, when Colin Renfrew and Christos Doumas (separately) visited the site, and discovered that part of it had been subject to looting.