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Against the Grain: Long-Term Patterns in Agricultural Production in Prehistoric Cyprus

Lucas, L; Fuller, DQ; (2020) Against the Grain: Long-Term Patterns in Agricultural Production in Prehistoric Cyprus. Journal of World Prehistory , 33 pp. 233-266. 10.1007/s10963-020-09140-6. Green open access

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Abstract

Our understanding of the timing and dynamics of the spread of human populations to the island of Cyprus has changed significantly in the last few decades. Ongoing research on a few sites has provided more detail not only on when the initial explorers and farming populations arrived, but also on how the unique culture of prehistoric Cyprus developed. This research explores patterns in the archaeobotanical and zooarchaeological data from prehistoric Cyprus dated from the Neolithic to the Late Bronze Age (c. 8800–1300 BC). The data provide insight into a protracted and non-linear transition to an agriculturally-focused subsistence strategy on the island, the timing of which demonstrates a deviation from the mainland trajectory. The unique transition includes a prolonged period of intermediate or mixed subsistence, which involved both a pulling back from cereal agriculture and secondary animal products and a later move, during the Bronze Age, towards perennial land use for crops that could be commodities. The results presented here suggest that, rather than any passive, demographically-driven shift to cereal agriculture, emerging social complexity and active management played key roles.

Type: Article
Title: Against the Grain: Long-Term Patterns in Agricultural Production in Prehistoric Cyprus
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10963-020-09140-6
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10963-020-09140-6
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Archaeobotany, Zooarchaeology, Islands, Early farming, Mediterranean
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10105320
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