SOTIRA KAMINOUDHIA AND THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE EARLY BRONZE AGE IN CYPRUS

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Abstract

Summary. The Early Bronze Age (EBA) of Cyprus is a key phase of transformation in the prehistory of the island. Major developments are observed in the economic, social and artistic arenas, but owing to the lack of excavated settlements no firm chronology has ever existed for this period. Excavations in southern Cyprus at Sotira Kaminoudhia, a site with an assemblage belonging in broad terms to the Early Cypriot (EBA) Red Polished ceramic tradition, have helped to fill the lacuna. This paper presents the analyses of a series of radiocarbon determinations from well stratified organic samples in the settlement. These both confirm the EBA status of the site and provide the first firm absolute chronology for the Cypriot EBA. In addition, the new data from Sotira Kaminoudhia provide an opportunity to examine the beginning of this period on Cyprus — specifically the much debated issue of the so-called Philia Phase — both in chronological and socio-economic terms.

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