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.
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