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An Earlier Settling of Cyprus

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

18-archaeologisCYPRUS—Carbon-dating of material found at a site in southeastern Cyprus suggests that the settling of the island began some 1,000 years earlier than previously thought. The site, Ayia Varvara-Asprokremnos, was apparently occupied by 8600 B.C., and archaeologists have uncovered several finds there, including two stone tools (one of which might have been used for grinding ochre) and small statuette of a female figure. "This tells us that Cyprus was very much a part of the Neolithic revolution that saw significant growth in agriculture and the domestication of animals," says University of Toronto archaeology research fellow Sally Stewart. "With farming came a surplus of wealth, in both food and time. People now had the time to specialize in other roles such as manufacturing, and they had the time to spend making figurative art."