Climate, environment and cognition in the colonisation of the Eastern Mediterranean islands during the Pleistocene

Moutsiou, Theodora (2021) Climate, environment and cognition in the colonisation of the Eastern Mediterranean islands during the Pleistocene. Quaternary International, 577.

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Island colonisation and adaptive responses of humans to newly colonised environments during the Pleistocene is hotly debated in archaeological discourse globally. Investigating these occurrences enables us to better understand the human condition and is a useful proxy of early human cognition. This paper reviews the evidence for Pleistocene maritime knowledge (sea crossings and adaptations) for the island of Cyprus, the palaeoclimatic and palaeonvironmental context for the arrival of early humans on the island, and the existing lithic evidence regarding a potential Pleistocene colonisation. The island of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean is an important nexus for addressing these phenomena. However, its potential in elucidating early human maritime movement and adaptations has remained largely unexplored. The recent discovery of reliable evidence for the Pleistocene exploitation of other islands around the world makes the absence of Pleistocene archaeology from Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean, very puzzling and calls for systematic research on the matter. In doing so, it puts forward the need for focused multidisciplinary methodological approaches and, crucially, disentanglement from persisting outdated narratives regarding the early human past as our best means in progressing the study of Pleistocene Cyprus.

Item ID: 67579
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-4553
Keywords: island colonisation; cognition; Pleistocene; Mediterranean; Cyprus
Copyright Information: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. All rights reserved.
Funders: European Regional Development Funds (ERDF), Republic of Cyprus/Research and Innovation Foundation
Projects and Grants: Water Routes in Human Island Dispersals: Modeling the Pleistocene Exploitation of Cyprus (PLEICY, 2018–2020)
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2021 02:08
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430104 Archaeology of Europe, the Mediterranean and the Levant @ 50%
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430101 Archaeological science @ 50%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130704 Understanding Europe’s past @ 100%
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