Wednesday Nov 02, 2022

8. A Cyprocentric Perspective: Cyprus’ History of Research with Maria Iacovou

Cyprus' history has, in many respects, been skewed. Historically speaking, its been beholden to more predominant narratives -- a passive recipient of culture. Yet this thinking is wrong. And we still deal with the reverberations from some of these archaeological fallacies in mainstream literature. Pick up a travel brochure. You'll certainly read that Cyprus was "colonized" by Mycnenaeans -- suggesting that it lay fallow, bereft of culture, until that pivotal moment in history. If not explicit, it is certainly implied. Or that its art has distinct "Assyrian" and Near Eastern influences -- rather than its own unique and innovative styles. Or that it, like the rest of the Near East, ignominiously collapsed during the Crisis Years rather than what it did: continued to thrive and persevere, maintaining complex trade networks, architecture and literacy. Maria Iacovou, from the University of Cyprus, problematizes these all too common narratives and explores the origins of these erroneous assumptions. She challenges us to rethink how we discuss archaeology and invites us to consider Cypriot history with a new lens. Please join me as I discuss Cyprocentricity with Maria Iacovou. 

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