Neolithic voyages to Cyprus: Wind patterns, routes and mechanisms


Humans first arrived in Cyprus around 12,000 calibrated years BP. Visits to Cyprus resulted in settlement on the island during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A beginning around 11,000 cal BP. Later occupations of the Cypro Pre Pottery Neolithic B testify to intensive connections with the mainland. We examined the possible routes to sail from the mainland to Cyprus and back by studying: sea level; options of available watercraft; sea conditions and currents; navigation skills; sailing routes; and prevailing seasonal and diurnal wind regimes. It is suggested that the optimal sailing route and season from the mainland to Cyprus by Neolithic navigators was from southern Turkey between April and October. Their return trip was from east or southeast of Cyprus to the Levant coast. This counter-clockwise pattern enabled the permanent human settlement on the island and contacts with the mainland.

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Neolithic voyages to Cyprus: Wind patterns, routes and mechanisms. Daniella Bar-Yosef Mayer, Yaacov Kahanov, Joel Roskin, Hezi Gildor. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397379)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;