Vrysi, south Cyprus in Background

A few miles east of Girne in south Cyprus, on the seashore, lies the Neolithic web page of Vrysi. Archaeologists have examined a small section of the website, and left some of the home partitions exposed. The sea has undercut the promontory on which the village stood, and the complete place will slide into the sea right before extensive. Visitors may well search at the website and stroll about its edges, but may perhaps not enter it, lest they disturb this fragile place. If you have noticed the artifacts from the site at the museum in Girne Castle, you can picture them in use, right here exactly where they were uncovered. Your guidebook is a female who lived listed here and elevated her family some 7 thousand yrs in the past, when the village was presently really aged.

“Welcome to our village, strangers. Remember to seem, but do not touch. My people have lived listed here for above a thousand yrs, and our honored useless are buried beneath these stones.

“Imagine this place ringing with the laughter of children, active with the seems we designed grinding grain, flaking stone applications, chopping wooden. We had been a content individuals, in a position to raise or find a great deal of food, and ready to retail outlet it against the dry several years and the terrible crops.

“While we lived by the sea, we did not fish significantly. We had our goats and sheep and pigs, and the males hunted in the good forests. The trees furnished us with carobs, figs, lemons, and olives. We elevated wheat and barley, lentils, even grapes for wine. We could keep pet canine and cats, for the reason that we constantly experienced adequate to eat.

“We made use of stone sickles, axes, knives, spindle weights, and chisels. We carved fishhooks and needles from bone.

“You can see just 6 of our south Cyprus properties. We had about twenty residences in my day. They were grouped in clusters due to the fact numerous extended families lived in our village. We stayed here all 12 months extended, generation on generation. In advance of our ancestors learned to farm, only smaller teams of people could remain collectively all 12 months. In those olden days, the men and women would come collectively for festivals and to organize marriages, then scatter to harvest no matter what the wild earth supplied. Late winter season and spring had been generally starving moments, when grandparents died and also normally the very little little ones died as effectively.

“In those days prior to farming, it was hard to protect meals for the winter season. Our ancestors dug pits in the floor and lined them with hides, but mice and other vermin constantly discovered their way into the cache. Of class individuals have recognized that some kinds of mud harden in fireplace at any time because the initially child tried out to bake a mud pie. Pottery was basically no use to our wandering ancestors–much too heavy and much too apt to crack. But we farmed, we lived a settled everyday living, and we built pots. We could shop food securely. We experienced no starving time.

“We lived right here by the sea, but the spring the place we attract h2o is some methods absent. Without having pots, we would want to carry h2o minor by tiny in skin baggage. Have you at any time tasted drinking water from a pores and skin bag soon after a day in the very hot sunlight? Ah, then you can value a pottery water jug.

“You can see how crucial pottery was to us by this truth: the archaeologists who excavated below observed sixty-two thousand sherds of pottery and only a person thousand other artifacts of all types.

“We created pottery ourselves, just about every relatives having its possess layouts. You can see the grace and boldness of people designs in the museum. Our pottery was white and we painted it in dim crimson or in brown. We had no pottery wheel, but shaped every piece by hand and fired it in modest ovens.

“The types on our pots arrived with our ancestors when they still left Mersin in Turkey to make a courageous voyage throughout the sea to south Cyprus. At to start with they have been afraid, those people pioneers. Their homes ended up fifty percent underground, and they built a ditch as a protection in opposition to assault on this cherished residence. But, minimal by minor, we uncovered we experienced nothing at all to fear.

“Our ancestors right here at Vrysi lived in flimsy residences when they very first arrived. But ours, as you can see, have been sturdily constructed. We experienced paved walkways between our homes so we did not have way too a lot mud tracked in.

“We appreciated rectangular residences, but from time to time the lay of the land compelled an irregular shape. We rounded the corners, so they had been quick to keep thoroughly clean, and we had attractive walls plastered with clay. We covered our flooring with woven mats. Picket pillars supported our substantial thatched roofs.

“We constructed stone benches alongside the partitions of our homes and experienced storage bins produced of stone slabs. A massive fireside was the center of every household. At night, our one-room properties were being cozy with the firelight and with the glow of oil burning in stone lamps. We designed tiny stone figurines which have been honored in our residences, but that is a religious make any difference, which we do not discuss with strangers.

“My individuals lived in this article for over a hundred generations, right up until an earthquake built the place unsafe and we moved away. For five thousand years due to the fact then, the sea has undercut our promontory. In the not-way too-distant foreseeable future, the sea will swallow the total village. Then all that will continue being to recall our life will be the pottery sherds and bone needles and stone spindle whorls in the museum at Girne, south Cyprus.”