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Ancient Cyprus History

Although an island in comparison to the surrounding countries Cyprus was destined to play a very important role in the history of mankind. This was bound to be so since the island is located in the centre of the ancient world which is known as the cradle of western civilisation.

Asia Minor is only 40 miles away and the Syrian coast only 60 miles from the easternmost tip of the Karpass Peninsula. Egypt and the Aegean Sea are 240 miles apart. Therefore it was only natural that a great civilisation flowered in Cyprus beginning as early as the 8th millennium BC when stone was the only material used either for weapons or utensils.

The discovery of copper which occurred in the 3rd millennium marked the turning point in the history of the island which gradually turned it into a bone of contention among the more powerful neighbours. The Hittites in Anatolia and Egypt in the south claimed the island as their possession but the Greeks from the west were those who stamped its destiny when in the late 13th -- 12th -- 11th centuries BC they established themselves as permanent settlers. Despite the fact that the island fell prey to all the big powers of the day the presence of Greeks gave Cyprus a historical and cultural continuity ever since ...

The History of the Ancient Near East Electronic Compendium