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Prehistoric and Protohistoric CyprusIdentity, Insularity, and Connectivity$
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A. Bernard Knapp

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199237371

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199237371.001.0001

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Island History and Island Identity on Cyprus

Island History and Island Identity on Cyprus

(p.298) 6 Island History and Island Identity on Cyprus
Prehistoric and Protohistoric Cyprus

Bernard A. Knapp (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an island history of Bronze Age and early Iron Age Cyprus, discussing at length all published documentary evidence related to Alashiya, Ku‐pi‐ri‐jo, and Iadnana (Neo‐Assyrian cuneiform texts). Whilst specific focus falls on issues of identity, the more general intention is to situate Cyprus in its eastern Mediterranean context. Each section — on economy, society, and polity — provides commentary on the material dimensions of the textual evidence; a general historical overview concludes the chapter. Given converging streams of evidence, it is argued that Late Bronze Age Cyprus was centrally organized — politically and economically — under a ruling class that had adopted a coherent ideological and symbolic repertoire of material paraphernalia to signal their identity, within and beyond the island. The documentary evidence related to Alashiya demonstrates a role so pervasive and influential in the international world of the eastern Mediterranean and the Near East at this time that it is difficult to see how its king would not have controlled the entire island.

Keywords:   Alashiya, Ku‐pi‐ri‐jo, Iadnana, cuneiform texts, centralized political organization, documentary evidence, textual evidence, eastern Mediterranean, ancient Near East

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