Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


18 July 2012

Ais Giorkis: An unusual early Neolithic settlement in Cyprus

Alan Simmons Journal of Field Archaeology 37:2 (May 2012): 86-103.


For over a century, archaeologists have been intrigued by the inception of food production and sedentary lifeways, the so-called “Neolithic Revolution.” Research focused on the Near Eastern and Anatolian mainlands has documented some of the earliest Neolithic cultures known. The adjacent Mediterranean islands were generally believed to have been late recipients of Neolithic economies. Recent research challenges this by establishing both Late Epipalaeolithic and early Neolithic occupations on Cyprus. Ais Giorkis contributes to this revision. It is an early Neolithic site (ca. 7500 cal b.c.) in the uplands, unlike most contemporary sites, which are near the coast. Ais Giorkis is more complex than originally believed, containing unusual architecture, abundant and sophisticated artifacts, and some of the oldest directly dated domesticated plants in the Near East. It also has a faunal assemblage that includes small numbers of cattle bones, previously undocumented before the Bronze Age, but now shown to be present at three early Neolithic sites. 


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