Dramatic social and political change marks the period from the end of the Late Bronze Age into the Iron Age (ca. 1300-700 BCE) across the Mediterranean. Inland palatial centers of bureaucratic power weakened or collapsed ca. 1200 BCE while entrepreneurial exchange by sea survived and even expanded, becoming the Mediterranean-wide network of Phoenician trade. At the heart of that system was Kition, one of the largest harbor cities of ancient Cyprus. Earlier research has suggested that Phoenician rule was established at Kition after the abandonment of part of its Bronze Age settlement. A reexamination of Kition's architecture, stratigraphy, inscriptions, sculpture, and ceramics demonstrates that it was not abandoned. This study emphasizes the placement and scale of images and how they reveal the development of economic and social control at Kition from its establishment in the thirteenth century BCE until the development of a centralized form of government by the Phoenicians, backed by the Assyrian king, in 707 BCE.
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