The intense archaeological fieldwork carried out in Cyprus over the last thirty years has radically modified the image we have of the Neolithic transition in Cyprus. They have revealed the unfolding, on the island, between 9000 and 7000 cal BC, of a process comparable to that observed in the Levant, with a phase of villages of predomestic cultivators (Cypro-PPNA) followed by a rise in agriculture and stockbreeding, in a context and according to rhythms parallel to those of the Levantine PPNB. The maritime isolation of Cyprus offers the opportunity to discuss local factors separately from regional factors, to evoke in an original way the question of prehistoric navigation and, beyond that, of the transfer of knowledge and know-how, the capacity for innovation and connectivity within the Levantine pre-pottery world.

Jean-Denis Vigne is Emeritus Director of Research at the CNRS. He is working at the National Museum of Natural History since the 1970s. He has devoted his research and teaching to the interactions between humans and other animals since the end of Prehistory. Through his excavations and archaeozoological research, mainly in the Mediterranean, but also in Central Asia and China, he contributes to shedding light, on a secular scale, on current societal facts such as the erosion of biodiversity, migrations, domestication or food of animal origin. He has written or edited 18 books and more than 450 scientific articles.

François Briois (Ph.D. 1997, University of Toulouse) is lecturer in archaeology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), and Researcher at the UMR TRACES in Toulouse (France). He is a specialist in stone tools and lithic technology. His current research focuses on the Neolithic processes of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Holocene period in Northeast Africa. The work that he is developing in Cyprus, within the framework of the "Neolithization" mission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that he directs, concerns the first island settlements and their development between the 10th and the 8th millennium B.C. His research in Egypt, carried out within the framework of the programs of the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology in Cairo, is devoted to two main themes: the study of human occupation during the Holocene in the oasis of Kharga (western desert); the production systems of the lithic industries of the Nile valley, the eastern desert and the Red Sea shores during the predynastic and pharaonic periods.

Jean Denis Vigne & François Briois

The Levantine Neolithic transition scrutinized from the island of Cyprus