Earliest known village in Cyprus discovered


Share post:

Recent archaeological digs have uncovered more than 20 round buildings in what is believed to be Cyprus’ earliest known village, dating as as the 9th millennium BC, the east Mediterranean island’s Department of Antiquities said Tuesday.

Earliest known village in Cyprus discovered
The excavation team at the site of Ayios Tychonas-Klimonas [Credit: Department of Antiquities, 
Republic of Cyprus]

The department said in a statement that excavations, which concluded last month in the Ayios Tychonas-Klimonas area near Cyprus’ southern coast, also found domestic dogs and cats had already been introduced to Cyprus when the village was active 11,200 to 10,600 years ago. It said villagers hunted small wild boar and birds, but didn’t produce pottery.

Excavations directed by Francois Briois from France’s School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences and Jean-Denis Vigne from France’s National Center for Scientific Research-National Museum of Natural History found most buildings had built-in fireplaces as well as a 30- to 50-kilogram (66- to 110-pound) millstone.

Large quantities of stone tools, stone vessels, stone and shell beads or pendants were also discovered.

The buildings, with a diameter of between three and six meters (10 and 20 feet), were built using earth and strengthened with wooden poles while their floors were often plastered.

Earliest known village in Cyprus discovered
View of the excavation site at Ayios Tychonas-Klimonas [Credit: Department of Antiquities, 
Republic of Cyprus]

The buildings are situated around a circular, 10-meter (33-foot) communal building that was unearthed during digs five years ago. Further surveys and digs carried out since show that the village would have covered an area of at least half a hectare (1¼ acres).

Traces of intensive sieving offer strong evidence for the cultivation of emmer wheat, a primitive cereal introduced from the continent.

The Department said the village’s organization, architecture, stone tools and evidence of agriculture and hunting are elements that are very similar to those that have already been identified in the early Pre-Pottery Neolithic Levant between 11,500 and 10,500 years ago.

“Ayios Tychonas-Klimonas has demonstrated that, even though Cyprus was separated from the continent by more than 70 kilometers of sea, the island was part of broader Near Eastern Neolithic developments,” the Department said.

Author: Menelaos Hadjicostis | Source: The Associated Press [July 12, 2016]



Related articles

Lifting the veil on the Queen of Sheba’s perfume

It is one of the oldest fragrances in the world. Nicolas Baldovini's team at the Institut de chimie...

Family tomb of ancient bronzeware artisans identified in Central China

Archaeologists in central China's Henan Province said they have identified 42 tombs unearthed since 2017 to be a...

Kushan period coins discovered in Uttar Pradesh

Copper coins, which may date back to the Kushan period, have been found in the Khaprana village in...

Latest piece from stolen Kanakaria mosaics back in Cyprus

A stolen mosaic from the Kanakaria church of the Virgin Mary in Lythrangomi in the north, depicting Saint...

Turkish fishermen net 300 kilo ancient bronze statue ‘off the coast of Marmaris’

Turkish fishermen apparently casting nets outside Turkish territorial waters off the coast of the port city of Marmaris...

Colonisation of the Americas at end of 15th century ‘disturbed Earth’s climate’

Colonisation of the Americas at the end of the 15th Century killed so many people, it disturbed Earth's...

Pharaonic cemetery found in Egypt

A stone cemetery was found roughly 300 metres northeast of the pyramid of King Senusert I, the Egyptian...

Traces of BMAC culture found in NE Iran

Traces of a Bronze Age culture that is similar to the so-called Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex or BMAC (also...