None Cypriot Chalcolithic Period: 3800 - 2300 BC

Cypriot Chalcolithic Period


Following Neolithic II without a cultural break was the Erimi culture of the Chalcolithic Age, found especially in the South and West (3800- 2300 BC).  Though still basically a stone-age society they discovered and worked the small amount of (uncombined) native copper crystals which canbe found on the surface of the earth. Only a few small items could be hammered out of this soft, pure copper: small chisels, hooks and jewellery. There was growing social, as well as technical complexity which became more explicit in the Bronze Age. Houses and grave-goods now show some social differentiation. Though most people were buried within settlements a select few were buried in cemeteries of rock-cut tombs. As well as large plain, storage and cooking  pots they made red-on-white pottery such as the item below, and cross-shaped Picrolite stone (or sometimes pottery or limestone) figurines with stumpy spread arms. These latter suggest a ritual or votive use. The island was probably ruled by regional chiefs.

In the late Chalcolithic Red on White ware disappeared and Monochrome wares dominated. There were some large communities of substantial, round stone and mud-brick houses, many abandoned before the Bronze Age. A few signs of Anatolian influence appear from 2800 BC onwards. The arrival of new Anatolian settlers around 2500 BC brought the first true Bronze-Age culture in Cyprus: the Philia culture. However Chalcolithic culture continued in much of the island well into the Philia period.