Facts about Cyprus

Area: 9,251 sq km
Capital: Nicosia
Language: Greek, Turkish
Currency: Euro
  Turkish Lira
Population: 784,301
Coastline: 648 sq km

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Early Settlers

The earliest settlers most probably came from the nearby Mediterranean countries clearly visible from Cyprus’ shores. Small boats would have made the easily navigable journey – the Taurus Mountains of Turkey are only 40 miles (64 km) from the island’s north coast.

Artifacts found in the early settlements have clear links with similar finds on the mainland and there are many villages dating from the Neolithic to the Chalceolithic periods dotted throughout the island. The dwellings of the early inhabitants tended to be shelter partly provided by nature and added to where necessary.

The village of Vrysin (within the Acapulco complex east of Kyrenia) has dwellings partly sunk into the ground and walled with stone and mud brick. Ayios Epiktitos, now called Çatalköy, consisted of many cave dwellings, a large number of which are still easy to find.

Alack of settlements dating from the mid-Neolithic period (6000-4500 BC approximately) make it impossible to say that the island was occupied during that time. It is, however, well proven with a wealth of artifacts and villages that the people from the Chalceolithic period flourished (3900-2600 BC). They discovered copper and found it a product that was exportable, thus beginning the trade routes from Cyprus that were to become so important in future centuries.

The people of this time were hunters, fisherman and artisans. The pottery of the period stands well in comparison with its modern counterpart and some looks as fresh as if it had just come from the potters kiln.

Early settlers

Expansion and trade

The Iron Age

Persian Rule

Hellenistic Period

Roman period

Byzantine rule

Three Hundred years of French Rule

Venetian Rule

Ottoman Rule

British Control

Union with Greece

The country remains divided

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