The Greek exodus to Cyprus: The antiquity of Hellenism
SourceMediterranean Historical Review
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The antiquity of (a) the particular proto‐Greek dialect of Cyprus and (b) the syllabic script which was employed to write it as early as the eleventh century BC, suggests that Greek‐speaking people settled in Cyprus before the end of the Late Bronze Age. The peculiarity of this colonization movement is that the newcomers integrated with a highly civilized and literate indigenous population but did not succumb to acculturationinstead, they left on Cyprus an indelible identity of direct lineage from the extinct Mycenaean prototype. It is suggested that in the colonial context of the island the process of ethnic identification was accelerated: archeologically detectable manifestations in the material record of the eleventh century BC imply that the immigrants of Greek tongue developed a collective definition of their ancestry centuries before this was to become a conscious ideal on the Greek mainland.