Before Farming

Until the cows come home

cattle and Early Neolithic Cyprus

Before Farming (2009), 2009, (1), 1–10.

Abstract

The Neolithic of Cyprus has long been regarded as something of an ‘oddity’ with little relevance to the broader Near Eastern Neolithic world. It was believed that the ‘Neolithic package’ arrived on the island relatively late and, at least in terms of domestic fauna, there was little to distinguish it from the mainland, except for the lack of cattle. Research over the past several years, however, has challenged this perspective, first demonstrating a Late Epipalaeolithic use of the island with an apparent specialised focus on hunting the limited endemic fauna. Even more recent research has documented an earlier phase of the Neolithic as well, one that contains cattle. This paper summarises some of these developments.

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Simmons, Alan