Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Alan Simmons

Second Committee Member

Barbara Roth

Third Committee Member

Levent Atici

Fourth Committee Member

Stephen M. Rowland

Number of Pages



One of the most significant developments in human history was the “Neolithic Revolution,” which first began around 11,000 years ago in mainland Southwest Asia. It resulted in not only the economic reorientation from hunting and foraging to herding and farming based on domesticate resources, but also significant changes in human technology, demography, society, political organization, ideology and human relationships to the environment. In order to understand this momentous process, however, it is important to understand the events that set it in motion. This is particularly the case when dealing with oceanic Mediterranean islands, specifically Cyprus and Crete, where there is a known Pre-Neolithic presence. The purpose of this literature-based thesis research will be to address both the Pre-Neolithic and Early Neolithic on these two islands. Four main questions will be examined: 1) What were the climatic conditions faced by the earliest seafarers/ explorers?; 2) What were the earliest types of watercraft used?; 3) What is the evidence for an early human presence?; 4) Is there ethnographic evidence cross-culturally that documents how wild and domesticated plants and animals, but animals in particular, were transported between landmasses using watercraft technology? The purpose of this thesis is to provide the necessary framework for my subsequent dissertation, which will examine more specifically the zooarchaeological remains at the site of Ais Giorkis. Furthermore, it will also allow these two islands (but particularly Cyprus) to be placed within the broader Neolithic context of both mainland Southwest Asia and the Mediterranean Basin.


Archaeology; Cyprus; Early Neolithic; Early Seafaring; Greece--Crete; Mediterranean Sea; Neolithic period; Pre-Neolithic


Archaeological Anthropology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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