Saturday, March 22, 2014

EUROPA 1983 - Cyprus - The Great Achievements of the Human Genius 3.5.1983

Ever since 1961 Cyprus has been releasing Europa stamp series. The common subject decided by CEPT for this year refers to "The Great Achievements of the Human Genius". One of the two stamps released by Cyprus is dedicated to the Cypriot syllabary and the other to the mining, smelting, marketing and use of cooper and bronze.

Copper and Bronze. The 200 mils stamp depicts a piece of copper ore, a copper ingot of the Mycenean period (1450-1250 B.C.) found at Engomi and a bronze jug of the Roman period (2nd century A.D.).

Copper and bronze, well known to the Cypriots since the Chalcolithic Age (4000-2500 B.C.), became a main product of mining and smelting during the Early and Middle Bronze Ages (2500-1650 B.C.). In the Late Bronze Age (1560-1050 B.C.) bronze was massively exported in the form of ingot. The copper mines and smelting workshops found everywhere in Cyprus show the high exploitation of copper and bronze, while the various tools, weapons, utensils, coins, jewellery, statues etc found in almost every archaeological excavation indicate their use in every day life.

Cyprus Syllabary. The 50 mils stamp depicts a lime tombstone of the 6th century B.C., found at Yialia, Paphos. It bears an inscription in the Cypriot syllabary with the name of Timokypra, daughter of Onasikypros, read from right to left.

The Cypriot syllabary, according to recent archaeological research, was in use in the 10th century B.C., although its extensive use was during the 5th and 4th century B.C. It was abolished in 312 B.C. when Ptolemy A' introduced the Greek alphabet. It consists of about 55 symbols, each one representing either a vowel or a syllable, and has been deciphered through the comparative study of the Greek and the Cypriot syllabary texts of the bilingual inscriptions.

Thank you Merja.

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