The note reconsiders the environmental setting of Aetokremnos, the controversial site of pre-Neolithic age on the island of Cyprus.
Some 12,000 years ago when the sea level was lower, the site was not situated right on the coast in an island-like context as its excavators have claimed.
The discussion draws attention to three ambiguities in the previous interpretation of Aetokremnos and proposes that a new series of radiocarbon dates should be run on samples of bone in order to clarify the situation at the site.
Aetokremnos Definition / Aetokremnos Research(Site not responding. Last check: )
Aetokremnos is a rock shelter near LimassolLimassol (population 107,000) is the English name for Lemesos (Greek: Λεμεσός, Turkish: Leymosun), the second-largest city of Cyprus.
The presence of fallow deer (4 bones) and pig (13 bones) is puzzling, since these animals are thought to have been introduced only in the PPNB period.
Aetokremnos is a rock shelter near on the.
www.elresearch.com /Aetokremnos (379 words)
The Life of Meaning(Site not responding. Last check: )
While close enough to be visible on a clear day from the Syrian coast, the distance was sufficient to keep Cyprus free of humans until the dawn of the Neolithic.
Aside from Aetokremnos, humans are otherwise so far archaeologically invisible on the island until about 8500 BC, and so far only the one site ties humans directly to the extinction of the pygmy hippos and elephants.
Two thousand years after Aetokremnos, around 8500 BC, Cyprus was recolonized, with the earliest dated evidence coming from material excavated from a well at Kissonerga-Mylouthkia.
The problem with Aetokremnos was that, from surface indications alone, it was distinctly unimpressive, consisting of a few scattered lithic artifacts, some fossilized pygmy hippopotamus bones, and some marine shell.
Our conclusions, however, are that Aetokremnos is indeed cultural in origin, that people were consuming a probably already stressed population of pygmy hippopotami, and that they were doing so about 10,000 years ago.
Thus, Aetokremnos has changed several preconceptions about human colonization of the Mediterranean islands and the impact of these early settlers on the endemic fauna.
A dwarf species, Phanourios minutis, existed on the island of Cyprus but became extinct at the end of the Pleistocene.
Whether this was caused by human intervention is debated (see Aetokremnos).
In 2005, the population of hippos in Democratic Republic of the Congo's Virunga National Park had dropped to 800 or 900 individuals from around 29,000 in the mid 1970s, raising concerns about the viability of that population.
Since Akrotiri Aetokremnos, new research by British and French investigators has shortened the gap between the "Akrotiri Phase" and the traditional Neolithic period, establishing a previously unknown, earlier Neolithic period.
Mandel, R.D. and Simmon, A.H. Geoarchaeology of the Akrotiri Aetokremnos Rockshelter, Southern Cyprus.
Abstract: Akrotiri Aetokremnos is a collapsed rockshelter on the southern coast of Cyprus.
The archaeologists believe that tools found at the two sites were used by seafaring foragers who frequented the island well over 10,000 years ago -- before the first permanent settlers arrived around 8,200 B.C. They are thought to have sailed from present-day Syria and Turkey, at least 46 miles north and east of the island.
The dawn of seafaring in the region has been put at around 9,500 B.C. from evidence found 20 years ago at Aetokremnos, on Cyprus' southern Akrotiri peninsula.
The finds indicate these early wanderers traveled more widely, and more frequently, than was previously believed, outside experts say.
The Aetokremnos site was discovered in 1980 by an amateur fossil hunter, but it was only last summer that Mandel and Alan Simmons of the Desert Research Institute at the University of Nevada finished excavating it.
Although Mandel and Simmons found no human remains at Aetokremnos, the charred animal bones are clear evidence of human habitation.
Some researchers had argued that the pygmy hippo became extinct 20,000 years ago as a result of natural causes, but the Aetokremnos site proves the animals stuck around for another 10,000 years--only to be exterminated, perhaps, by the island's first human inhabitants.
These tools set the stage for the invention of the first planked wooden ships with keels in the Aegean that set out on voyages of exploration early in the 4th Millennia B.C. in search of the prestige metals of gold and silver resulting in the Los Millares culture in southeastern Spain.
Akrotiri Aetokremnos is dated to the late Pleistocene in the 10th millennia B.C. A raft is a device that relies on the floatation of the material (typically wood) used to construct it.
The Knossos settlement near the coast of north-central Crete represents the origin of the Minoan civilization.
The volume summarizes the results of interdisciplinary archaeological investigations at Aetokremnos which present the earliest well-supported evidence of humans in Cyprus and demonstrate the association of cultural remains with extinct endemic Pleistocene fauna.
Alan Simmons shows that Aetokremnos is one of the few archaeological sites where a convincing argument can be made for human involvement in Pleistocene extinctions.
It is easy to see how Akrotiri Aetokremnos (or "Vulture Cliff" [erroneously referred to as "Eagle's Cliff" in earlier publications1]) received its name. Read the first page
Akrotiri Aetokremnos on the south coast of Cyprus has challenged our perception of when and how humans first occupied the Mediterranean islands.
Interdisciplinary investigations at this collapsed rockshelter have demonstrated that Aetokremnos was established during the tenth millennium B.C. This is amongst the earliest occupation of any of the Mediterranean islands.
At Aetokremnos, however, the remains of a specialized hunting strategy are represented.
Visitors to Limassol's archaeological museum can follow the development of civilisation on the island from the ninth millennium to the late Roman period.
Among the many artefacts on display are pieces from the preneolithic site of Akrotiri, or Aetokremnos, where evidence of the earliest human activity on the island has been found.
Bronze Age Mycenean vases and contemporary artefacts from the necropolis of a monumental building at Alassa are also exhibited, along with Phoenician and Aegean pottery, jewellery, tools, coins, clay idols, stone statuettes and a huge sculpture of the Egyptian fertility God Bes.
by Alan H. Simmons (Author), G.A. Clarke (Foreword) "It is easy to see how Akrotiri Aetokremnos (or "Vulture Cliff" [erroneously referred to as "Eagle's Cliff" in earlier publications1]) received its name..." (more)
It is easy to see how Akrotiri Aetokremnos (or "Vulture Cliff" [erroneously referred to as "Eagle's Cliff" in earlier publications1]) received its name.
Aceramic Neolithic, Akrotiri Peninsula, Early Holocene, Akrotiri Phase, Cape Andreas Kastros, David Reese, Akrotiri Aetokremnos, Ayios Mamas, Near East, Cypriot Neolithic, Late Pleistocene, Radiocarbon Age, Kholetria Ortos, Ain Ghazal, Pre-Pottery Neolithic, Cyprus Museum, Upper Paleolithic, Kouris River, Middle Paleolithic, Akanthou Arkhangelos Mikhail, Ayia Anna, Cape Gata, Brian Pile, Lower Paleolithic, Stuart Swiny
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Dr SIMMONS argues that the bones of pygmy hippopotamus found with features and artefacts at Aetokremnos, on the Akrotiri Peninsula of southern Cyprus, indicate that the species was killed off here by human colonization.
The `overkill' hypothesis has been applied to terminal Pleistocene history in various parts of the...