None Cypriot Philia period: (Early Bronze Age) 2500 - 2200 BC

Cypriot Philia period

Around 2500BC, new settlers from Anatolia (South Turkey) brought new technologies and animal species to Cyprus. They may have been refugees from Indo European invasions. (In Anatolia these conflicts led to the Accadian empire of Sargon the 1st.)

The Philia culture, as it is now called, quickly moved from the North coastal plain into the foothills of the copper-rich Troodos mountains. They introduced copper smelting but most of the metal had only accidental impurities.  Harder bronze was made by including more arsenic (which is found in many Cypriot copper ores) to the soft copper, but this was mostly in the next (ECI) period. (Only later, in the ECII period, was the less toxic tin added, which had to be imported.)

They introduced ploughs and sickles and the warp-weighted loom and had mud-brick houses, or compounds, built on stone footings (rectangular rooms arranged around a courtyard). Pit and rock-cut chamber tombs were outside the walls. They brought in donkeys and re-introduced cattle to the island in large numbers. These animals pulling their new ploughs allowed larger areas to be taken into cultivation, which started an expansion of the population

The Philia also made flat-bottomed red polished ware pottery (often with broken-line incised decoration). There are strong similarities with Anatolan Red Burnished ware (eg from Tarsus and Troy), though the latter had dishes and sometimes used the potters wheel - neither of these introduced in Cyprus. However the famous Philia large jugs with cut-away spout have parallels in western Anatolia.

The quite uniform Philia culture took a long time to occupy the whole island and the process appears to have been peaceful.  They are chiefly associated with the vertical centre of the island, North to South, with not much in the East and West). A few of these outlying areas clung to Chalcolithic culture till possibly as late as 2300 BC.  The Early Cypriot I culture which took over from them spread similarly slowly, starting around 2300BC, and again the process seems to have been assimilation rather than conquest.

It is only recently with the work of Webb and Frankel that the Philia period has been accepted as predating Early Cypriot. The dates of Cypriot Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age periods tend to be regularly revised. Most knowledge comes from cemeteries and there has been limited digging of stratified occupation sites of this period, partly due to the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of the North, which led to a UNESCO ban on archaeological co-operation.