Cyprus, you’d better put this into your National Final…


The Earliest Greek Alphabet, Cyprus, c. 800 BC

The tablets are in Greek on copper, consisting of 2 tablets with 20-23 lines in archaic Greek capitals with some North Semitic (Phoenician) letter forms, written by 2 or more scribes. This is the oldest European alphabet, the oldest writing tablets extant, and part of the world’s oldest book in codex form. A third tablet originally bound with the present ones is housed at the University of Würzburg, Martin-von-Wagner-Museum; a fourth is owned by a private collector. The codex originally consisted of at least 5 tablets.

The tablets were made in Cyprus but were excavated in Fayum, Egypt. The alphabet on the plaques is now called the Fayum alphabet and the earliest Greek manuscript extant. It is an alphabet table that is contemporary with Homer and an amazing preservation of students’ learning of the Greek alphabet at the very inception of its use. Apart from the present manuscript, the oldest Greek inscription of any length is the Dipylon oinochoe from Athens, c. 740 BC.

Ancient textile and dyeing workshops excavated in Erimi


Archaeologists excavating at Erimi-Laonin tou Porakou in the Limassol district have uncovered a complex of workshops covering an area 30X30 metres that appear to have been used for textiles and dyeing.

“A complete open-air working area extends towards the eastern area of the complex, while a series of two new large rectangular units were cleared on the western and eastern wings with a completely preserved monolithic stone threshold, as well as a pivot system and locking devices,” an announcement from the department of antiquities said on Wednesday.

It said the analysis of botanical remains together with the evidence for working installations such as basins and channels, and an assemblage of objects such as spindle whorls and pouring vessels strengthened the hypothesis that weaving and textile dying were the main activities performed in the complex. Read more.

Fuck your parliament and your constitution. America is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. Greece is a flea. If these two fleas continue itching the elephant, they may just get whacked good …We pay a lot of good American dollars to the Greeks, Mr. Ambassador. If your Prime Minister gives me talk about democracy, parliament and constitution, he, his parliament and his constitution may not last long…

Lyndon B Johnson

By 1967, Greece was under a brutal military junta backed by the US from which it did not emerge for seven years.

Archaeological excavations reveal shops and building in Nea Pafos


An Australian archaeological excavation project at the site of the Hellenistic – Roman theatre of Nea Pafos has revealed a series of what is believed to be shops and another building.

The Australian team, which has been excavating at the UNESCO World Heritage site since 1995, conducted its excavations from August 16 to September 20, this year, a Department of Antiquities press release says.

The team was directed by Dr Craig Barker of the University of Sydney, while the excavations are supported by the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney and the Australian Archaeological Institute in Athens.

“Through the years of excavation of the ancient theatre, the team has uncovered architectural remains carved out of the bedrock of the southern slope of Fabrika hill, in the north-eastern quarter of the ancient walled city”, the press release says. Read more.

Armenian school in Larnaca, Cyprus 1923

Armenians have inhabited Cyprus since the sixth century AD, but about 9,000 more arrived from Turkey in the early 20th century to escape the Armenian Genocide. Today, Western Armenian is taught in Armenian schools (Nareg) and is the first language of about 3,000 people of Armenian descent in the Republic. Armenian Cypriots are bilingual in Greek and Armenian.

More on the Armenians of Cyprus