ALCUNE RIFLESSIONI SUL PROCESSO DI URBANIZZAZIONE A CIPRO NELL’ETÀ DEL BRONZO
This paper examines the evidence from the main Cypriot Bronze Age settlements in order to single out the factors of continuity, as well as the factors of change in the various phases of the process of 'urbanization' in Cyprus. According to some scholars, the Cypriot urban sites appeared in the 13th century BC, but a different interpretation is proposed in this paper. After a review of the sites of the 'pre-urban' periods, the beginning of this process is ascribed to the MC III/LC I period, here called 'Urban Phase I', as a result of the appearance of social differentiations and concentrations of economic and commercial functions in some sites which dominated in a site hierarchy. In the following 'Urban Phase II' (LC IIA-B) a few sites show some meaningful innovations, such as the construction of large buildings which are the forerunner of the later monumental buildings and which bear witness of the first use of ashlar masonry in high status tombs. The 'Urban Phase III' (LC IIC) is the period of the mature urbanization in Cyprus, with some centres showing a planned regular organization which was probably influenced by Syrian models. In the following 'Urban Phase IV' (LC IIIA-B) there is a marked decrease in the number of urban centres, and the urban process ceases at the end of the Second Millennium BC.