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2. The island


ANCIENT CYPRUS: Cultures in Dialogue

Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels
October 31, 2012 – February 17, 2013

    2. The island

    Pygmy hippopotamus scull, ca. 10,000 BC, Akrotiri-Aetokremnos- Department of Antiquities, Cyprus

    Most people link Cyprus with the sea. However, the history of the island has always depended on a mountain range, Troodos. Having emerged from the sea through a unique geological process, Troodos covers an area of ca. 3200 m2 at the centre of the island, with its highest peak (Mt Olympus) elevating at 1951 m.

    Apart from life-giving water sources, and dense forests which provided fuel and building material for houses and ships, Troodos has also abundant mineral resources, copper in particular. Copper was the basic material for making tools, weapons and luxury items in antiquity, and was extensively traded in the Mediterranean and the Near East from the 2nd millennium BC onwards. Copper trade was arguably the most important factor for the economic and cultural growth of ancient Cyprus.

    Andesite anthropomorphic figurine, 7th-6th millennia BC, Khirokitia, Department of Antiquities, Cyprus Oxhide ingot, 16th-11th c. BC, Enkomi-Department of Antiquities, Cyprus Bronze lamp stand, 750-600 BC, Department of Antiquities, Cyprus









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