First wave of cultivators spread to Cyprus at least 10,600 y ago

Jean-Denis Vigne, François Briois, Antoine Zazzo, George Willcox, Thomas Cucchi, Stéphanie Thiebault, Isabelle Carrere, Yodik Franel, Regis Touquet, Chloe Martin, Christophe Moreau, Clothilde Comby, Jean Guilaine

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Abstract

Early Neolithic sedentary villagers started cultivating wild cereals in the Near East 11,500 y ago [Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA)]. Recent discoveries indicated that Cyprus was frequented by Late PPNA people, but the earliest evidence until now for both the use of cereals and Neolithic villages on the island dates to 10,400 y ago. Here we present the recent archaeological excavation at Klimonas,
whichdemonstrates that established villagers were living on Cyprus between 11,100 and 10,600 y ago. Villagers had stone artifacts and buildings (including a remarkable 10-m diameter communal building) that were similar to those found on Late PPNA sites on the mainland. Cereals were introduced from the Levant, and meat was obtained by hunting the only ungulate living on the island, a small indigenous Cypriot wild boar. Cats and small domestic dogs were
brought from the mainland. This colonization suggests well-developed maritime capabilities by the PPNA period, but also that migration from the mainland may have occurred shortly after the beginning of agriculture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8445–8449
Number of pages5
JournalPNAS
Volume109
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2012

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Vigne, J-D., Briois, F., Zazzo, A., Willcox, G., Cucchi, T., Thiebault, S., Carrere, I., Franel, Y., Touquet, R., Martin, C., Moreau, C., Comby, C., & Guilaine, J. (2012). First wave of cultivators spread to Cyprus at least 10,600 y ago. PNAS, 109(22), 8445–8449. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1201693109