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Entrepreneurship in Cyprus through the ages

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Panagiotis Leonidou

on 26 January 2015

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Transcript of Entrepreneurship in Cyprus through the ages

Bronze Age
2300-1050 BC.
Entrepreneurship In Cyprus Through The Ages...
Underwater researches have come to a conclusion that trading between countries was made with ships
as you can see..
The history of winemaking in Cyprus can be traced back nearly
6,000 years.
In 2005 a team of archaeologists concluded that some Bronze Age wine jars, which were discovered in Erimi in the 1930s, were the
oldest of their kind in the world,
dating back to 3,500 BC.
This proved that the first wines in the Mediterranean region were produced in Cyprus, long before the worship of Dionysus, god of wine, shown on the Paphos famous mosaics.
Wine was being traded at least as early as 2300 BC, as the 1999 - discovery of a shipwreck similar to the Kyrenia showed.
The ship was carrying over 2,500 amphorae.
Its origin and destination must have been along the trade route between Greece and Egypt.
More recently, two discoveries have given more evidence about Bronze Age wine producing and trading.
The first
was the discovery of a Bronze Age (2500-2000 BC)
near the village of Pyrgos. Near this perfumery,
an olive press
, a
, and

smelting works
were also discovered. Wine containers and even the seeds of grapes were unearthed.
The second
discovery (1932-1935) near Erimi village, revealed, among other artifacts, several
pieces of flasks.
These pottery fragments ended up in the stores of the Cyprus Museum still unwashed in wooden boxes. They were dated to the Bronze period.
In 2005, chemical tests carried out by a team of Italian archaeologists, showed traces of tartaric acid, a component of wine, proving that the 5,500 year-old vases were used for wine.

The Phoenicians

From the 9th century BC the Phoenicians from the nearby coast of Lebanon learn about the
riches of Cyprus in woods and copper mines
and come to establish themselves at Kition (modern Larnaca).

They bring heir alphabet.
They also bring
luxury good
s for the royal courts, such as
and their famous purple cloth called

(south coast) was the stepping-stone between the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Excavations showed Minoan, Mycenaean and Phoenician elements.
Kition became a major harbour town in the Late Bronze Age.
Tombs have brought to light a plethora of
made of earth, gold and bronze, spearheads and finely painted Mycenaean vessels as well as pottery with written Cypro-Minoan characters.
Frequent references to Kition in the Bible confirm the city’s
fame as a maritime
power due to its Phoenician connections which last for 5 centuries.
The end of Kition was marked by the struggle of the Cypriots to regain their freedom from the oppressive rule of the Phoenicians collaborating with the Persians.

1850 BC – 2350 BC

A very important discovery
The village of Pyrgos is situated on the southern coast of Cyprus.
It is just a few kilometres from Limassol.
An industrial area of 4000 m2 was recently discovered there.
In this area dating back to 1850 BC – 2350 BC, Cypriots were processing copper and other metals.
They were also producing olive oil,
In this area was found
the oldest silk in the world,
even older than in China, and the first perfumery ever discovered in the world.
Evidence shows the
use of olive oil in metal processing.

What you are going to see...
The Bronze Age is one of the most important periods in Cyprus history
Extensive foreign trade
characterised the era, called Late Bronze Age (1650 B.C. -1050 B.C.).
began, and was widely traded in the Mediterranean.
Cyprus was long famous for its copper resources.
The Latin name of copper (cupium) comes from the phrase “Cuprium aes”, which means «
Metal of Cyprus».
Cypriots first worked copper in the 4000 years B.C .
They used it to make tools.
Copper could be found in places on the surface of the ground in Troodos Mountains.
In these early stages, called Early Bronze Age (2300 B.C. - 1950 B.C.) bronze objects were cast.
Contacts with the outside world were otherwise few.
Imaginative pottery designs flourished showing human and animal life in and around the villages.

MIDDLE BRONZE AGE (1950 B.C. - 1650 B.C.)
Cyprus had begun its
trading relationships with the Aegean, western Asia and Egypt.

The discovery of the Ulu Burun shipwreck, which was carrying over ten tons of Cypriot copper ingots when it sank off the coast of Turkey in the late 14th century B.C., shows that
Cyprus was a major producer of copper for international trade
Cypriots produced some of the
finest bronze work in the eastern Mediterranean.

As trade flourished, new towns were established around the coast.
The island enjoyed a
significant level of prosperity
This prosperity led to the
coming of foreign goods and people
into the island.

Due to the importance of the island, around 1200 BC,
the first Greek-speaking settlers arrived.

City kingdoms
are established. The
from Greece reach Cyprus, perhaps as merchants, and during the 12th and 11th centuries several waves of
Achaean Greeks
come to settle on the island.
They build
new cities
like Paphos, Salamis, Kition, Kourion.
Cyprus is progressively

Fasten your seat belts and let the journey begin....
Entrepreneurship in Cyprus
I) Most ancient evidence
Bronze age: Cooper
Underwater researches (video)
II) In the last centuries BC.
Hellenistic Period
Keryneia Shipwreck
III) During the Roman Empire
Roman Period
Christianity in Cyprus
Koinon Kypriwn (video)

IV) The Middle Ages (500-1500AD)
The Byzantine period
The French dynasty
Lefkaritika Embroidery (video)

V) End of Middle Ages to the late 18th century
The Ottoman Empire
The Venetians The Black Gold of Cyprus

The “Vase of Pyrgos” which was found during the excavations that started in 1998, shows the whole procedure of wine making and the evolution of pre-historical agricultural technologies.

How was copper made..
II) Entrepreneurship in Cyprus in the last centuries BC
I) Most ancient evidence of Entrepreneurship in Cyprus.
389 BC – 288 BC
The Kyrenia ship is the wreck of a 4th-century BC Greek merchant ship.
It was discovered by Greek-Cypriot diving instructor Andreas Cariolou in November 1965 during a storm at sea.
After about ried an 200 dives he re-discovered the wreck in 1967 close to Kyrenia in Cyprus.
The event was extensively covered by the BBC.
The ship was considered to be very well preserved with approximately 75% of it in good condition.
Achaean Greeks
settled on the island of Aphrodite striving hard to build their villages, their towns and their history on the northern coast of Cyprus.
A merchant ship of only 15 metres build in 389 BC was regularly travelling from the Aegean islands to the town of Kyrenia and further on to the Palestinian and Syrian coast.
Around 288 BC the ship, transporting 29 millstones, 380 amphorae with almonds and four crew members, sunk off the coast of Kyrenia remaining under water for 2000 years.
The discovery of the Kyrenia shipwreck and the scientific research that followed revealed a lot on the study of ancient
ship building
as well as
maritime life
in the area.
It also provided
valuable evidence on the life on the island
as well as
trade relationships
in the last centuries BC., linking the years of Alexander the Great to today’s history.
Interesting facts
in the 80 years of its life the ship has been repaired 2-3 times using a specific method
- were found among others in the ship: 4 plates, 4 cups, 4 wooden spoons used by the crew
traces of food ( lentils, figs, grapes, olives)
a metal grill for cooking or drying food in the sun (i.e. fish)

The Kyrenia ship is the most well preserved ancient vessel in the world and it is exhibited in the Kyrenia Castle Museum, in the town of Kyrenia.

The Kyrenia shipwreck

A Historical Overview
The Hellenistic era in Cyprus was followed by the
Roman Period (50 BC-330 AD).
The Roman rule was tough at first.
were granted later on.
The Romans annexed Cyprus because of its rich
natural resources
and products such as

and other products.
resources were also still quite rich.
There were important political and religious functions.
It was also a
strategic base for trade and the economy
in general.
The Roman period was one of the
most prosperous
in Cyprus history.
Evidence shows that luxury items came to the island through trade.
Impressively large administrative buildings in cities like Salamis, and richly decorated mansions like those found in Paphos witness a thriving economy.
Roads, ports, aqueducts, theatres, sanctuaries etc. were built.(i.e. the Sanctuary of Apollo in Kourion and the Paphos mosaics.)
The rural population
was much poorer and worked in the fields or the mines.
The island was self-sufficient and prospered through the use and trade.
Coastal cities flourished and Cypriot were found in Syria and Palestine.
There was also an extensive coin circulation.
The port cities were distribution centers and Cyprus had connections with other locations across the Mediterranean.
A wide variety of foreign items found on the island proves the trade relationships.
. The “
” (or "League" was responsible for the copper coinage, bearing the inscription
, as well as the organisation of festivals.
An earthquake in 76 AD destroyed the city of Kourion.
Rome sent large amounts of funding to rebuild the city.

The Roman Empire
III) Entrepreneurship in Cyprus during the Roman Empire up to 500 AD

This period is marked by the
Hellenisation of the island
Iron replaced the use of copper as it is a much harder metal.
It is used for making
agricultural tools and arms
The use of metal tools boosted the
agricultural development of the island
During that period the main
cultivated goods were cereals (wheat and barley), grapes
olives, almonds, figs
, etc even though some of these agricultural products existed back in the 16th century BC.
When the Phoenicians left the island, trade and shipping declined.
Persian rulers who took over the island imposed many taxes.
Continuous fights on the island had a negative impact on the economy.
The main occupations of local people were:

Under the rule of
Alexander the Great
starting in 325 BC the island adopts his

system and the helenisation of the island is accelerated.
His death led the island in a period of instability.
During the rule of the Ptolemies, culture and religion remained untouched.
The Greek alphabet was gradually introduced.
in Egypt became a centre of l
earning and of trade and this had a positive impact on Cyprus.
Importance of the island as a

Evidence shown
by the wreck of a Greek cargo ship,
recovered by archaeologists off the north coast, and now preserved with its contents in Kyrenia castle.
By 58 BC, however, the
Ptolemaic dynasty had become weak
Iin 50 BC Cyprus becomes a province of the
Roman Empire.

325 BC. – 50 AD.
Coinage before and after "koinon kypriwn"
In the early apostolic years and during the last years of the Roman rule, there were in Cyprus three religions.
- The ancient Greek,
- The Jewish and
- The Christian.
The cult of Aphrodite continued to dominate and took three centuries before Christianity prevailed.
Christianity was taught by the Apostles Barnabas, Paul and Mark in 45 AD.
In their first mission the three Apostles
organised the Cypriot church
and placed in the leadership qualified church officials who would take on the spread of the new religion and the strengthening of the church.
Four years later, the Apostles Barnabas and Mark returned to Cyprus and founded the church.

Another important religious event takes place in 327 AD when
Saint Helen
came to Cyprus and found the country devastated, impoverished and abandoned because of a severe drought. During her stay she established two monasteries, in Stavrovouni and Tochni, in which she donated little pieces of the Holy Cross.

The Spread of Christianity in Cyprus
The situation on the island in the 5th century AD was extremely bad.
Strong earthquakes destroy many of the island's flourishing cities amongst them Kourion, Paphos and Salamina.
This had a negative impact on production, trade, the economy and the well-being of its people.
Long and severe droughts deteriorate even more this condition.
Evidence shows that Cyprus quickly recovered end regained its previous glory.
In the early 4th c. AD the shipbuilding industry re-developed, and big constructions were undertaken in different cities.
The population of the island increased between the 4th and 7th centuries AD as many people from neighbouring countries arrived on the island to escape the Persian wars.
During the Byzantine years (330-1191 AD), many sectors such as shipbuilding industry, copper extraction and processing, silk industry, gold and silver work knew a remarkable development.
Cyprus due to its strategic geographical position contributed once more to the growth of Byzantine trade.
But the repeated Arab expeditions that started in the 7th cen. AD devastated the island and caused a lot of trouble to its people who moved away from coastal areas to escape.
This weakened the economy and led to the recession of coastal cities.
New settlements grew then far from the coast and developed into cities.
Nicosia (Lefkosia) becomes the capital city of the island in the end of the 10th century AD.
After its liberation from the Arabs, Cyprus economic activity recovers again and especially agriculture.
In the first half of the 12th century peace prevails on the island and we see again the growth of trade.
During this period merchants from Italian cities establish themselves on the island.
The second half of the 12th century AD was on the contrary a period of decline and misery due to many attacks from nearby countries and severe droughts.

A Historical overview
From earthquakes to droughts
and from glory to misery
The Byzantine Period (500 AD – 1500 AD)
Between 1192 - 1489 AD Cyprus was ruled by seventeen kings and queens of the French Dynasty of the Lusignans who bought the island from King Richard I of England during the time of the Crusaders.
Guy de Lusignan introduced the feudal system in Cyprus. He took possession of the land belonging to local farmers and distributed it to the barons and other nobles who had accompanied him from Palestine.
During the Franks Cyprus showed significant economic development.
Agriculture, handicrafts and trade flourished on the island.
Traditional agricultural goods such as

During the 14th and 15th century AD some new products on the island boost trade.
Those products were s
ugar cane
used for the production of sugar,
and the well known sweet wine called
also become famous.
The island exports a great variety of goods in the Near East (Syria, Palestine).
Later on, Cyprus becomes the most significant trade center in the Eastern Mediterranean as all trade activities were transferred to Cyprus.
Many merchants from France, Italy, Spain and other European countries established themselves on the island and played an important part in trade relations. This period is characterised as “
the golden era” of the island.

French Dynasty - The Lusignan Dynasty 1192 -1489
Lefkaritika Embroidery

is the village that gave its name to the famous traditional lace embroidery, world-wide known as “
After the Crusades Cyprus became a prosperous centre, the tradition of making valuable textiles and embroideries became concentrated on the island.
However, is the Venetian occupation (1489-1571) which produced “Lefkaritika”, a form of
which has survived and flourished in almost its original form to the present day.
This type of thread embroidery, famous all over the world, is made by the women of the village of Lefkara.
This village, was the main summer resort of wealthy Venetians.
With their keen minds, sharp eyes and skilful fingers, Lefkara women soon copied and adapted the old Italian white needlework common in Italy and particularly in Venice.
The Lefkara women created beautiful pieces not only in linen but also in silk.
It is even known that
Leonardo da Vinci
, on a visit to Cyprus, was very impressed by the Lefkara embroidery that he took a piece of work back to Italy to grace the altar in
Milan Cathedral.
This design is known today as the “
Leonardo da Vinci design"
In 1953 seven Lefkara women worked to complete a Leonardo da Vinci design, offered as a gift to the Queen of England for her coronation.
Lefkara embroideries are sold around the world.
Another main handicraft industry in Lefkara is
Entrepreneurship in Cyprus in the Middle Ages (500-1500AD)
Lefkaritika Embroidery
How is Commandaria made..
The Venetians (1500 -1760 AD)

• In 1489 Cyprus was transferred to the Venetians who came to the island mainly for economic and military reasons.
• The situation on the island was terrible. The Venetians imposed excessive taxes and Cypriot farmers were serving the Italians and local feud owners.
• The living conditions of the local people were gradually becoming worse.
• The island suffered from bad weather conditions, floods, droughts, earthquakes, contagious diseases, plague, locust invasions, all these bringing misery to the island.
• The Venetians showed interest in agriculture and especially wheat and salt. Commerce was exclusively in their hands and Cyprus products were exported to cover the needs of Venice.
• The surplus of the production was used to satisfy the needs of their fleet, guards and soldiers.
• Sugar production and exports were favoured by the Venetians and the entire production was exported to Venice.
• Cyprus remained one of the main countries exporting sugar until the late 16th century AD.

• Cyprus is annexed to the Ottoman Empire.
• The occupation of the island brought some radical changes on the island.
• The Latin population on the island was expelled.
• The Ottomans imposed heavy taxes on the people
• War, diseases, emigration brought misery to the island and its people.
• The economic situation deteriorated and trade activities in the Eastern Mediterranean declined.
• The population of Cyprus decreased considerably due to terrible conditions
• Sugar production was abandoned as well as salt.
• Cotton, on the other hand, becomes the island’s main product.
• Other main products were: silk which was exported to Europe, dying products were exported to Syria, Iraq and Iran.
• Carobs, wine and wheat from Cyprus were very demanded both in Europe and The East.
• Machinery in agriculture was still completely unknown.
• Even though industry was almost inexistent, the textile was quite well developed.
• The bad road network did not facilitate the movement of goods on the island.

The Ottomans 1570-1878

• Carobs are known as 'the black gold of Cyprus'.

• They were the major agricultural export product of the island and for some villages the center of agricultural activity and the main source of income.

• Carob trees must have existed in Cyprus since prehistoric times.

• Proof of the presence and importance of carobs in Cyprus is provided by many of the foreign travelers, especially during and after the medieval era.

• In 1598, a German traveler gave an accurate description of the Limassol coast crowded with huge piles of carobs awaiting loading on vessels for export to Venice, Egypt and the Middle East.

• Carob is also referred to as ‘St John's bread’ following the legend that St' John the Baptist was feeding on the pods of this tree while in the desert.

Historical importance of the Carob in Cyprus

This long journey through the ages, some of them bright and some dark, has now come to an end… We travelled back in time meeting our ancestors, joining them in hardships, great achievements, endless wars, famines…after all they survived.
We certainly learnt a lot about our own history, our roots, our culture and heritage. There were moments they showed an incredible spirit of Entrepreneurship, progress and achievement. This always happened in periods of peace when the mind is free to think, to create, to innovate, to achieve…

We hope you enjoyed the journey
Thank you for being attentive
Panagiotis, Chrystaleni, Marinos, Josephine, Melissa
Lanitio Lyceum
Special thanks to our teacher Mrs Andri Sonnet for the valuable help!
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