Hunter Gatherers &
Neolithic Revolution in Cyprus
cave to the west of Limassol [in South Cyprus], piled high with
the bones of defenceless elephants and hippopotami, mixed in
with stone tools and burnt shells, attest to manís first
arrival, in about 8,500-8,000 B.C.
evidence is sketchy it now seems that visiting bands of
hunter-gatherers, in an orgy of feasting, exterminated the
islandís unique fauna. The hunters, perhaps haunted by the
ghosts of the defenceless animals, did not make a permanent
At about the same time, a great revolution was occurring in the
high plateau of Anatolia (eastern Turkey). The invention of
agriculture transformed mankind from family groups of mobile
hunter-gatherers into permanent communities of farmers. It led
to a rapid growth in population and a consistent pattern of
emigration which steadily diffused the new techniques.
By 7,000 B.C.
soil and forest exhaustion in Anatolia escalated the pressure
for new land. Refugees from the ensuing conflict were forced
onto the unhealthy marsh coast of Syria and Turkey and some then
moved on to Cyprus, visible on a clear day.