The history of Cyprus is among the oldest in the world. The first signs of civilisation traced in archaeological excavations and research, date back 11.000 years to the 9th millennium BC.
The discovery of copper in Cyprus in the 3rd millennium BC brought wealth to the island and attracted trade from its neighbours. Yet, although geographically placed at the crossroads of three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa – and a meeting point of great world civilisations, Cyprus has developed and for centuries maintained, its own civilisation.
The Mycenaean and Achaean Greeks settled on the island between the 13th and 11th century BC. They introduced the Greek language and culture, both of which are preserved by Greek Cypriots to this day.
At the end of the 4th century BC Cyprus became part of the kingdom of Alexander the Great. The Hellenistic period ended in 30 BC when Cyprus became part of Roman Empire until the 4th century AD.
In 330 AD Cyprus formed part of the Eastern Section of the Roman Empire and later of the Byzantine Empire, and remained so until the 12th century AD. During the Crusades Cyprus was conquered by Richard the Lionheart followed by the Lusignans and the Venetians.
In 1571 Cyprus was conquered by the Ottomans and in 1878 it was ceded to Britain. In 1914 Britain annexed the island and in 1923, under the Treaty of Lausanne, Turkey relinquished all claims on the island. In 1925 Britain declared Cyprus a crown colony.
In 1955 the Greek Cypriots launched a liberation struggle against British rule and the island won its independence in 1960.
In 2004 the Republic of Cyprus joined the European Union.
• Neolithic period 9th - 4th millennium BC
• Chalcolithic period 4th-mid – 3rd millennium BC
• Bronze Age mid 3rd millennium – late 2nd millennium BC
• Iron Age 1st millennium BC
• Archaic Period 8th – 5th century BC
• Classical period 480-310 BC
• Hellenistic Period 310-30 BC
• Roman period 30 BC -330 AD
• Byzantine period 330-1191 AD
• Cyprus Under the crusaders 1191-1192
• Lusignan (Frankish) period 1192 – 1489
• Venetian Period 1489-1571
• Ottoman (Turkish Period) 1571-1878
• British Period 1878-1960
• Independence of the Republic of Cyprus 1960
• Republic of Cyprus joins EU 2004