Bioarchaeology of the Near East, 16:1-27 (2022)

Bioarchaeological research in Cyprus: A review

Grigoria Ioannou*, Kirsi O. Lorentz

Science and Technology in Archaeology and Culture Research Center,
The Cyprus Institute,
20 Konstantinou Kavafi Street, 2121 Nicosia, Cyprus
email: (corresponding author)

Abstract: We present a review of the history of human bioarchaeological research in Cyprus through the examination of published literature. We survey and discuss past and current trends, indicate gaps, highlight developments within recent years, propose future directions and provide an up-to-date literature review. While scholarly studies of ancient Cypriot human remains had already begun to emerge towards the end of the 19th century, continuing intermittently throughout the 1900s, significant changes took place during the 1980s. This later flourishing of human bioarchaeology in Cyprus, in contrast to conventional archaeological research, which had been making significant contributions to the investigation of ancient Cyprus since the early 20th century, is aligned with international developments. During the last two decades of the 20th century, human bioarchaeology in Cyprus sees a significant development towards a more scientific orientation in contrast to previous years. To date, 201 publications on Cypriot archaeological human remains have been found in journals, bulletins, books, monographs, proceedings and postgraduate research theses. The 1980s mark the beginning of a new era within human bioarchaeology in Cyprus. The number of problem-oriented human bioarchaeological studies focusing on archaeological questions as well as the number of studies drawing on scientific techniques beyond the standard morphological and metric approaches have increased significantly within the last decades. The number of researchers focusing on human bioarchaeology in Cyprus has also increased. Recent years have seen state-of-the-art approaches increasingly applied to the investigation and analysis of human remains, taking place within an interdisciplinary archaeological framework. These developments and the introduction of further cutting-edge methods and techniques are contributing towards key interpretations about the ancient inhabitants of the island and their lifeways.

Key words: human osteology; science history; literature review | Received 6 October 2021; accepted 1 July 2022; published online 30 September 2022.

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