Buried Secrets of Keros

½ based on 1 review.

tl;dr: Interesting subject matter, but poorly explained and with some weird conclusions.




Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

I will say that Keros appears to have been originally made in Greek, for a Greek audience, so some elements of the production are likely down to regionalisation, such as the janky audio dubbing. But other parts (like the untranslated placename captions) just made the show a bit hard to keep track of.

At the same time, the subject matter here was genuinely interesting. I know very little about the Bronze Age cultures of the Aegea. I know a decent amount about Bronze Age Europe and the fertile crescent, as well as later civilizations such as the Mycenean Greeks and Minoans, but I'm not sure I've ever heard of the Cycladic cultures before. These were clearly an industrious and fairly advanced group of people, with robust trade routes, excellent sea-faring capabilities, and an incredibly well-organised society capable of some fairly major feats of engineering, thousands of years before the classical Ancient Greek city-states.

In particular, the archaeological site of Keros is clearly a significant find: an almost 5,000-year-old, semi-urban settlement on a tiny island, made entirely out of earthworks and marble quarried miles away (and across an oceanic strait), with a strong metallurgic industry combined with unknown ritualistic behaviour. The "hoard" of broken marble figurines (beautifully carved and surprisingly uniform, given their widely spread origin points), which would have been painted with rare pigments in life, is a good mystery in and of itself. The huge marble houses and desolate location only heighten the intrigue.

So it's a shame that a slightly ponderous and poorly paced narrative leaves the audience with almost as many questions as you start with. I do understand that we know very little about this prehistoric culture, but I also can't help but feel that more time could have been spent understanding what evidence we do have. They spent so little time explaining how we're beginning to piece together the original colours and patterns on these figures, and could have done much more showing you how the many buildings were constructed, but instead, we just got a lot of slightly awkward conversations and some genuinely odd conjecture.

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