New archaeological findings may change notions about prehistoric Cyprus

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NICOSIA, June 8 (Xinhua) -- New archaeological findings are leading to a revision of notions about prehistoric Cyprus, most notably that the inland mountainous areas of the eastern Mediterranean island were devoid of any civilization at the Neolithic age, according to report posted online by the Department of Antiquities on Saturday.

"These new findings highlight in a very concrete way the role and the importance of mountain areas of the island," the report said, adding that existing notions on Neolithic life in Cyprus may have to be revised.

"The new findings raise new questions about the Cypriot prehistoric period as to the importance of mountain areas, which up to now had been underestimated," the report on the excavation said.

Work on the site continued during this year's excavation.

The prehistoric site was accidentally found during the 2018 excavation period as the diggers were uncovering a hunting lodge a short distance away, which was obviously used by hunters who ventured into the wooded mountains for preys.

The new findings which were unearthed on the banks of a river known as Xeros (Dry River) at the foots of the Troodos central massif, at a height of 4300 meters, were a circular stone building, stone pots and stone tools of the so called "Choirokitia Phase" -- the period between 6,300 to 5,3000 BC.

It added that among the findings of the excavation are a large number of worked out flint stone tools, polished stone tools, stone pots and "an adequate quantity of animal bones", denoting that the site was inhabited.

Up to now it was believed that prehistoric residents of Cyprus lived in low-lying plane areas close to rivers offering them easy access to water.

The mission under Prof. Nicos Efstratiou, in association with Cypriot researcher Demetris Kyriakou, brought to light "an impressive construction of the Choirokitia Phase".

"It is a stone building of a diameter of at least five meters, of excellent construction technic, with two lines of stones, which was preserved in a very good condition, and smaller size constructions related to the building," the report said.