Prehistoric & Ancient

The Island of Cyprus.  Probably the best place on Earth.  

An inspiration to all of us who love the island on which we live.

Today we will travel together a little further than most are accustomed to during a particular family adventure. For this destination exploring the Island that I love you might want to pack something warm as there is no way to arrive at our destination without experiencing a few drastic weather shifts along the way. Although it is my island and probably the best place on Earth, the time change might be a little overwhelming to most. Please take my hand and let us head together to a time commonly known as Prehistoric Cyprus, then we will stop by Ancient Cyprus on our way back.

Cyprus In the 10th Millennium BC:

The first evidence of humans in Cyprus is confirmed at approximately 11,000 to 12,000 years from the present. It ‘s hard to pinpoint the exact date on the calendar because keeping a day planner was probably not that important at the time and without debate from any of the historical experts on that period the texting plans for cell phones were much more primitive than they are today. In truth, my most distant ancestors from the island were hunter-gatherers. Neolithic archeological remains have determined that we were capable of drawing water from wells as far back as 9,000 to 10,000 years.

By the time of the settlements at Chorokoit ten centuries earlier and Kavalassos at around 7500 BC Cyprus began to show much sophistication for the time. I am also pleased to pass along to fellow animal lovers that as early as 14,000 years ago dogs and possibly even cats were domesticated and I believe my tendency to treat animals with the utmost respect may have originated during the first settlers on the island dating back 100 centuries earlier.

A Lapse In Time:

Around 3500 years ago during the Bronze Age, a possible catastrophic event occurred which many feel to have been a drought, and as a result, there are several centuries of only sparsely recorded activity. During that time span where much is not documented other than the rapid rise of sea levels and apparent widespread flooding as glaciers started to melt. By the outset of the Roman Warm Period, civilizations began to build sophisticated cities and by 2400 years from the present day these towns were rapidly expanding in the region. Later discoveries and verification of settlements dating back to twelve centuries before the birth of Christ may mark the reconnection after the major flooding or period of deadly drought which ended sometime during those ten centuries and humans began to resurface and extend their sophistication and advancement to the point of organized and sophisticated city-kingdoms.

Five Hundred Years BC – A Press Release

Achaean settlers from Argos founded the city of Kourion which is now near the city Limassol. The late Bronze Age settlement and Hellenic city believed to have been around12 centuries BC are recorded by an inscription by the Pharaoh Ramses III in Egypt dating from as early as 1186 BC. Several artifacts have been discovered which verify the settlement mentioned in the writings. The earliest of all archaeological finds date back to 1100 BC during the latter part of the Bronze Age. It was the copper ores that made Cypress essential within the earliest organized trade networks. It was Cyprus that influenced many of the civilizations during that time including Greece.

The Start of Documented History on the Island:

The town of Kition, which is known today as Larnaka started the era of documentation and recorded history around 800 years prior to the birth of Christ. A commemoration of a victory on a stele marks a battle by Saragon II of Assyria from 709 BC. Assyrian domination had begun before the time and is believed to have happened earlier. By 609 the city-kingdoms of Cyprus gained independence. During the next two few centuries there was a brief domination by Egypt, and eventually, Cyprus was left under Persian rule. Wars were only waged within city-kingdoms and Persia did not try to interfere with the way Cyprus was governed. By the late 4th century BC Alexander the Great seized control of all of the territory belonging to Persia.

Salamis – Myth, and Legend:

According to the legend about the foundation, Salamis, whose mother was Telemon was never able to come back to his homeland after the war. It was his failure to successfully avenge “Ajax,” his brother who was killed during the battle with Troy. There is evidence, as mentioned earlier that the area was already inhabited but it was designed to take the place Engkomi. There is not much in the way of concrete proof to support the story but yet it remains as either legend or myth as part of the island. Alexander explained that he no longer trusted the governor of Cyprus with control of the isle and the replacement Menelaus the king was appointed. Nicocreon, was the former leader removed and he was forced to commit suicide. As a part of Cilicia which was a province of Rome.

Upon the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC there was a very rocky period, and the move toward Hellenisation begin to intensify. It was Salamis in 306 BC where the infamous ship battle was waged with the ruler of Egypt. It was Demetrius who emerged as the victor and he continued on to assume control of the island.

The fight for supremacy continued under Demetrius the first, but by 294 BC the Ptolemaic kingdom had regained control. Cyprus remained under that rule until 58 BC when it became a Roman province. During Roman rule, Cyprus become thoroughly Hellenised. Cyprus became the first Roman province to be ruled by a Christian governor, and by the first century, it was featured as a setting for many of the stories in the New Testament.

Better Than a Movie:

My island is blessed with history and excitement spanning thousands of years. With more drama and a great plot from the history telling the story of the island is more entertaining than any movie. It is my honor and privilege to share more about my home of Cyprus but for now, let us return home to the present time, I think my horses and the love of my life may start to miss me.

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