Ancient migration or ancient mobility? Perspectives from Cyprus
This paper addresses the topic of population movement and mobility by closely examining a specific period of antiquity and a specific area, which was the central node in the system. The period under examination is the Iron Age (ca 1200–600 BC) in the Eastern Mediterranean, when, arguably, sweeping movements between the Aegean and the Near East, but also dynamic individual and entrepreneurial movement occurred, while the focus area is the region of Cyprus-Cilicia. The aim of this paper is to study the evidence for people moving in, to, and through the Cyprus-Cilicia area during the Iron Age; and to use this to draw conclusions about the nature of population movements at this time. We approach the subject with a wide lens perspective, incorporating evidence from archaeology, material culture studies and ancient history; addressing two core questions: socio-political changes in the Mediterranean and their influence on Cypriot activity overseas, and how did Cypriot connections with each area differ? Finally, we hope this paper will generate a discussion on the implications of mobility and migration through history up to the present day.