What Ancient Civilization Lived on Cyprus?

Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean, has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. The island has been home to various civilizations over the centuries, each leaving their mark on the culture and architecture of Cyprus. In this article, we will explore the ancient civilization that lived on Cyprus.

Introduction to Ancient Cyprus

Cyprus is located at a strategic location between Europe, Asia, and Africa. Due to its location, it has attracted many invaders throughout history. The first mention of Cyprus can be traced back to the 13th century BC when Mycenaean Greeks settled on the island.

The Phoenicians

The Phoenicians were one of the first ancient civilizations to settle on Cyprus around 1100 BC. They established trading posts on the island and developed close relationships with local communities. They also introduced their writing system and alphabet to the island.

The Assyrians

In 707 BC, the Assyrians conquered Cyprus and ruled for more than a century. During this period, they introduced new technologies such as iron tools and weapons. They also built fortresses and roads across the island.

The Persians

In 525 BC, Cyrus II of Persia conquered Cyprus and made it a satrapy (province) of his empire. During this period, Persian influence was visible in art and architecture across the island.

The Greeks

The Greeks arrived on Cyprus in around 450 BC during the Classical period. They established several city-states across the island, including Salamis, Kourion, and Paphos. The Greeks developed a unique style of art that blended elements from their own culture with local traditions.


Over time, Cyprus has been home to many different civilizations that have left their mark on its culture and history. From the Phoenicians to the Greeks, each civilization has contributed to the island’s unique character. Today, visitors can explore the ancient ruins and artifacts that tell the story of Cyprus’s rich history.