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Facts about Cyprus


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

Home > General Info > History > The Iron Age

The Iron Age

The next stage in development was the Iron Age. Leading up to this, various natural disasters, such as earthquakes, slowed down growth and led to a dispersal of the people and a downturn in trade. The inhabitants who continued to live on Cyprus carried on their traditions, and with the arrival of the Phoenicians, trade and industry received a much needed-boast. The island began to gather economic strength especially links with the Orient became established. Religion started to change and the Horned God much favored by the Mycenaean was replaced by the cult of the Goddess Astarte, the Goddess of Fertility. She in due course was replaced by the Goddess Aphrodite, who too is connected with love and fertility and is also considered a native of Cyprus.

During the three hundred years the island came under the domination of Near Eastern rules and for a brief period of about twenty years the island paid dues to the Kingdom of Assyria then for forty years to the Egyptians. After this the Persian Empire took control of Cyprus and permitted several of the city-states that arose at this time the right to mint their own coinage. These included Lapithos (Lapta), Soli and Salamis.

The pottery of this time, with its depiction of floral motifs and mythical creatures, strongly reflects the eastern influence of the Phoenicians.

Worship expanded to include Gods of the Egyptians, Greeks and Phoenicians. Terracotta figures that obviously represent deities have been found on the island, most notably at Akdeniz where some 2000 figures set round an altar were discovered in a temenos.

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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