The history of Cyprus is one of the oldest recorded in the world and its historical significance is disproportionate to its small size. Considerable resources of copper and timber found in the island combined to make it a highly desirable territorial acquisition.

The first signs of cilivisation date to the ninth millennium B.C., but it was the discovery of copper (3900 – 2500 B.C.) that was to bring trade and wealth to the island.  Around 1200 B.C., a process began that was to largely stamp the island with the national identity that it maintains to this day. The arrival of Mycenaean-Achaean Greeks as permanent settlers introduced their language and culture to Cyprus which though subsequently subjugated by various conquerors; retained its Greek identity.  The Turkish Cypriots came much later and were mostly the descendants of the Ottoman Turks, who occupied the island for more than three hundred years (1571-1878).  They have contributed their own heritage to the country which is still visible in Ottoman monuments scattered around the island.

Christianity was introduced to Cyprus during the first century A.D. by St. Paul and    St. Barnabas, founder of the Church of Cyprus.

 
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