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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Cyprus: Crossroads of Civilizations - Statue of Aphrodite

Ten Kingdoms, Three Languages, One Identity

Map of eastern Mediterannean featuring Cyprus and its surrounding countries

Aerial view of the Palace of Idalion

For a thousand years, Cyprus was divided into at least ten autonomous states. The inhabitants spoke three languages: Greek, Phoenician, and a language indigenous to the island, which scholars call Eteocypriot, or “original Cypriot”. Despite these apparent divisions, the people of Cyprus were united by their common economic interest in the mining and export of copper, a unity that helped Cyprus when confronting the empires of the day. In about 300 BC, the Macedonian king of Egypt Ptolemy I Soter abolished the Cypriot kingdoms and made Cyprus part of his own empire.

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International Influences
Ceramics in the Kingdoms of Cyprus
Religious Worship

 

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