Cyprus Before History: From the Earliest Settlers to the End of the Bronze Age / Edition 1 available in Paperback
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, and lies at the nexus of many important ancient trade routes, from Asia Minor to Africa, from Persia, Assyria and other great eastern powers to Italy and Greece. In antiquity the island was famed for its great wealth, not only from trade but also from its natural resources of copper as well as wine and olive oil. Recent excavations in Cyprus have radically altered our understanding of the earliest prehistory of the island. In this new appraisal Louise Steel explores the archaeological evidence for human occupation on Cyprus from the earliest hunter-gatherers and the first farming communities to the end of the Bronze Age. She examines major issues that dominate current research on Cypriot prehistory: island colonisation; population migrations; the interpretation of figured art; the emergence of social complexity; and the shift from isolation in earlier prehistory to a position at the centre of Mediterranean trade."Cyprus Before History" presents a social history of ancient Cyprus, exploring ways of life and death, changing farming practices and diet, social customs, early belief systems, and interaction with the Cypriot landscape and the wider Mediterranean.
About the Author
Louise Steel is Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Wales, Lampeter. She is ceramic specialist at the Late Bronze Age site of Kalavasos-Ayios Dhimitrios on Cyprus and co-director of the Anglo-Palestinian Gaza Research Project.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations Acknowledgements Abbreviations
1. The Island of Cyprus Geography Flora and fauna
‘A mischievous pastime’
Chronology Relative Chronology Absolute Chronology
2. The Colonisation of Cyprus Island archaeologies Endemic pleistocene fauna Island colonisation and Cyprus Pygmy hippos and early hunters The Early aceramic Neolithic Settlement Burial practices Material culture Noah’s ark: early farming practices Migrant farmers
3. The Early Farming Communities The aceramic Neolithic Origins Landscape and settlement Domestic space Burial customs Material culture Economy: farmers, herders, hunters and fishers The end of the aceramic Neolithic The ceramic Neolithic Origins The ceramic sequence Settlement and identity Organisation of space The household Material culture Symbolic and spiritual expression Economy The end of the Neolithic
4. The Age of Copper Genesis of the Cypriot Chalcolithic The Middle Chalcolithic Landscape and settlement The Chalcolithic household Settlement organisation Economy Pottery production Picrolite procurement and copper production Burials Representations and ideology A ceremonial deposit at Kissonerga-Mosphilia The Late Chalcolithic Settlement The Pithos House at Kissonerga-Mosphilia Pottery production Metallurgy Funerary ritual Emergence from isolation Transition to the Bronze Age
5. Cattle, Anatolian Migrants, and the Prehistoric Bronze Age An age of change Characterising the Philia phase Cattle, copper and the economy The Anatolian connection Settlement and economy Pottery production Copper production Funerary ritual and feasting the dead Foreign contacts Representations The prehistoric Bronze Age: an overview
6. Cyprus in the Late Bronze Age Origins Landscape and settlement Economy Craft specialisation Metallurgy Trade and Exchange Funerary practices Religion Political organisation The Alashiya question
7. Epilogue: The End of the Bronze Age Twelfth-century settlement Mycenaean colonisation Mycenaean pottery Handmade Burnished ware New metal types Architecture Funerary ritual Religion Metal hoards Cultural floruit A brave new world: the advent of the Iron Age
Notes Bibliography Index