Location: Kitsos, 5km east of Laurion.
Entrance Orientation: E
Entrance Altitude: 288m asl
Cave Formation: Horizontal
Cave Map: pending
Main Research years:
Occupation Eras and Dates:
MN; LN; FN; EBA; LBA.
Tomkins, K. 2009. Domesticity by Default. Ritual, Ritualization and Cave-Use in the Neolithic Aegean. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 28 (2), 125-153.
Zachos, K.L. 1999. Zas Cave on Naxos and the Role of Caves in the Aegean Late Neolithic. In P. Halstead (Ed.) Neolithic Society in Greece. Sheffield: Sheffield Studies in Aegean Archaeology 2. 153-63.
Cave Description: The cave is located on the eastern slope of Mikro Ripari, and commands extensive views across the whole of eastern Attica and the Islands of Euboea and the western Cyclades. The cave has two chambers, the main chamber is roughly 35x12m. The cave gets its name from the bandit Kitsos who hid there with six other people in modern times.
Research Chronicles and Data: The total depth of the deposits was 1.5m. Frequently caves are described as unsuitable for habitation because of their distance from agricultural land or water sources, however this is not the case with Kitsos Cave. A metal crucible was also found. A large group of LN II-FN pottery sherds have been found. Specifically CP20, which is a unique type of bowl that contained bones of hare and birds. A rare flint arrow head of great quality, together presumably with its shaft, appears to have been deliberately deposited in a fire. A group of brown polished vessels were found in association with a human bone. There is the presence of bone needles, colorants (malachite) and ground stone tools with traces of colorant on them.
Cave Uses: Agropastoral (A.a) - During prehistory the cave was seasonally occupied by hunters and herders. During the Neolithic period, a base of roughly 25 humans were dealing with husbandry and hunting. The crucible is an item of value, so it would suggest it was buried as part of a ritual or mortuary practice however there has been resistance to this theory (Zachos 1999) because any case of non-domestic usage of these caves has yet to be made. Later on, in the Mycenaean-Classical, Hellenistic-Imperial period, there seem to have been visitors to the cave for cult practices.