Neolithic Settlement, Choirokoitia, Cyprus

neolithic settlement Choirokoitia cyprus
The remnants of Choirokoitia, Cyprus. The oldest evidence of civilization on the island.

When you come across Unesco World Heritage sites like the Neolithic settlement at Choirokoitia, Cyprus, you have to use your imagination a bit. The site, in a way, looks like just a pile of rocks that stretches along a walkway that wends up a hill. But, thanks to some nice work by the archeologists, and some few didactic signs, you get a good idea of the organization of the village that dates back almost 9000 years. There are 20-some circular structures, encompassing dwellings, storage bins, and even tombs.

reconstructed dwelling Choirokoitia cyprus
Some reconstructed dwellings at Choirokoitia, based on the archeologists' best educated guess of what the originals looked like.

It's a small site that can be covered easily in a half hour to 45 minutes. Just walk up the hill, past the reconstructed dwellings and read the signs and look at the excavated dwellings. And do a little thinking about how these people organized themselves and cooperated to build a village, and live off shared animals and farming. In itself, the site isn't much to look at. Like I said, though, bring your imagination, and think of the life you might have lived if you'd been born into a neolithic settlement on Cyprus 9000 years ago.

The ruins of Choirokoitia are a Unesco World Heritage site in Cyprus. For a list of all Cyprus Unesco World Heritage sites, with links to posts about the ones we've visited, click here.

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