Ancient bones and modern myths: Ninth millennium BC hippopotamus hunters at Akrotiri Aetokremnos, Cyprus?

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Abstract

Recent excavations at Akrotiri Aetokremnos, Cyprus, stirred up great excitment among students of Mediterranean archaeology and palaeozoology, since they were presented as revealing for the first time on the island a large deposit of Pleistocene fauna - mainly pygmy hippopotamus - in association with artefactual material. It was further claimed that humans may have been responsible for the extinction of some of the endemic Cypriot fauna. A re-examination of the data from the site questions the existence of ninth millennium BC hippopotamus hunters on Cyprus and addresses the more general issues of how archaeologists observe the archaeological record, give meaning to it, and reconstruct the human past.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-96
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Mediterranean Archaeology
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1996

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