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Cyprus: Crossroads of Civilizations


For a thousand years, Cyprus was divided into at least 10 autonomous states. The inhabitants spoke three languages: Greek, Phoenician, and Eteocypriot, the original language of Cyprus. The art of the Cypriot kingdoms reflects a multitude of foreign influences. This limestone figure reveals its archaic Greek influence, while the pointed hat comes from Syria. It is one of more than 200 artifacts featured in the new exhibition “Cyprus: Crossroads of Civilizations” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. The exhibition covers nearly 11,000 years of history and showcases items from the earliest villages to masterpieces of medieval religious art, giving an overview of the unique culture of the island of Cyprus.