Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


31 January 2013

The role of Cyprus and the Mycenaean / Greek presence in the island from the End of Bronze Age to the first Phases of Iron Age

Anna Margherita Jasink Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici 52 (2010): 149-167.

From the introduction

In the period following the fall of Mycenaean palaces, of the Hittite empire and the small states in Syro-Palestinian areas a likely new role for Cyprus seems to open. The island not only maintains its peculiar position as key point for trade but also becomes the cross-road for people who stop in Cyprus, often only provisioning, moving from and towards other countries. Moreover, its role in the field of copper and iron metallurgy and its trade reaches the top. We will concentrate on three different aspects which may be connected to enlighten a picture of the whole Period, although such a connection is in principle hazardous, such aspects being based on different sources and requiring different methodological approaches: we are referring to archaeological finds, later historical or legendary texts and Cypriote scripts. The fragmentary picture that comes out is, however, rich of possibilities of comparison and intersection and may be a starting point for new researches. We will analyze in detail the Greece – Cyprus, Anatolian – Cyprus routes, furthermore comparing the “western” impact on Cyprus with eastern (Phoenician and, concerning only the last phases, Assyrian) connections and influences, extending in consequence our research to some aspects of the Archaic period, which seems difficult to separate from the previous ones. Confining the attention to the 12th century, i.e. the beginning of the period of our research, while in the surrounding areas clear changes in cultural sphere and political powers are well recognizable, in Cyprus it is better to speak of changes which occur in a different span of time according to the various areas of the island, forming a sort of puzzle; these changes in many cases develop slowly and not always with a real gap.


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