Cyprus

The position of Cyprus between Egypt, Greece, Turkey and the Near East is cause for its being described as “an archeologists dream”, continually changing hands between empires. From its earliest days Cyprus was influenced by these areas developing a rich syncretic practice of pottery and bronze work. Cyprus was later under Assyrian, Egyptian and Persian rule (further inspiring interesting syncretic artefacts) until Alexander the Great fully Hellenised Cyprus, establishing its trade relationships with Athens and Alexandria. Contesting powers of Ancient Rome continued Cyprus’s turbulent history. After Cyprus was Christianised and under Byzantine rule, conflict with the Arabs was cause for a unique agreement whereby Cyprus was jointly ruled for 300 years by both parties until British and French crusading forces established the Kingdom of Cyprus declaring Latin and the French the official language, to be replaced by Greek in the modern era.