Date: Founded at the end of the 7th millennium cal BC and occupied during part of the 6th millennium cal BC.

History: Towards the end of the 9th millennium cal BC, according to the most recent research, settlers coming from the mainland arrived to the apparently uninhabited island of Cyprus. It seems that this population rapidly lost its connections with the motherland and in the isolated island environment, developed into a unique civilisation: the Cypriot Aceramic Neolithic Civilisation. Founded during the course of the 7th millennium cal BC, the site of Chirokoitia provides a fine example of this cultural era at its peak.

Excavations: The exceptional architectural activity of the Chirokoitians is evidenced by the remains of structures, whether these are of collective or private use. One of the most impressive collective constructions, implying organised collective labour, is the enclosure wall which protected the village.

Replicas of housesReplicas of houses Chirokitia Archaeological site - Larnaca District

The village was entered into by an architecturally unique stairway integrated in a bulky stone structure against the exterior face of the enclosure wall. The basic architectural unit is a circular structure with a flat roof. The materials used for construction, either singly or in combination, are mud or sun-dried mudbricks and stone. The house consists of a group of such circular structures around an open space where installations for grinding corn were found. Internal subdivisions or arrangements were made according to the predetermined use of each structure, such as a loft supported by massive piers, low walls, basins or hearths defining working or rest areas.

The deceased, sometimes accompanied by intentionally broken stone vessels, were buried in pits inside the house which continued to be used in such a way that the dead remained with the living and that death caused no disruption to the cohesion of the community.

Alain Le Brun

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