Chalcolithic Period (3500 - 2500/2300BC)

LEARN Monday, 04 May, 2015

Chalcolithic Period (3500 - 2500/2300BC)

This Neolithic II culture was destroyed by an earthquake c.3800 BC. In the society that emerged there are no overt signs of newcomers but signs of continuity, therefore despite the violent natural catastrophe, there is an internal evolution that is formalised around 3500 BC when we have the beginning of the so-called Chalcolithic (copper and stone) period that lasted until about 2500/2300 BC.

Metalwork appears now for the first time and will stamp the future of the island for centuries to come. Cyprus has very few chisels, hooks and jewellery of pure copper but in one example there is a minimal presence of tin, something which may support contact with Asia Minor, where copper-working was established earlier.

During the Chalcolithic period changes of major importance took place along with technological and artistic achievements, especially towards its end. The presence of a stamp seal and the size of the houses that were not uniform, both hint at property rights and social hierarchy. The same story is supported by the burials because some of them were deposited in pits without grave goods and some in shaft graves with relatively rich furniture, both being indications of wealth accumulation by certain families and social differentiation.

The Chalcolithic period did not come to an end at the same time all over Cyprus.