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Ancient Elephas Cypriotes and Phanourios Minutis fount in Cyprus October 8, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Cyprus, Science.
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Cyprus > once home to the dwarf elephants and pygmy hippos > An excavation in the Famagusta [Ammochostos] district has unearthed animal remains including tiny elephants and hippopotamuses dating back some 250,000 years.

The recent findings in an area close to Ayia Napa revealed the skeletal remains of dwarf elephants (Elephas Cypriotes) and pygmy hippos (Phanourios Minutis) as well as remains of ancient rats and bats. Other remains include fossilised flesh of animals and remains of now extinct birds. Similar remains have also been discovered in other Mediterranean islands such as Sardinia and Crete.

In the past, similar findings from the Epipalaeolithic age were made with the most intriguing remains unearthed in areas close to Pentadaktylos and Xylotymbou. This is the fourth such dig to take place in six years with the first dig taking place in October 2001, the second between May and June 2002 and the third in October 2002.

According to scientists, Cyprus was not settled in the Old Stone Age, which led to the survival of numerous dwarf forms, such as the dwarf elephants and pygmy hippos. These animals are thought to have arrived on the island as a result of being swept out to sea while swimming off the coast of what is now Egypt. During the Epipalaeolithic age, it is believed that Cyprus was far closer to Egypt, with some estimating the distance as no more than 30 kilometres.

The extinction of the pygmy hippos and dwarf elephants has been linked to the earliest arrival of Homo sapiens on the island. Piles of burned bones discovered in the caves of the first humans in Cyprus is further evidence that the first Cypriots may simply have gobbled them up. The caves were discovered on the southern coasts of the island.

The pygmy hippo, which measured 1.5 metres in length and 0.75 metres in height, became extinct between 11,000 and 9,000 years ago. The dwarf elephants were around one metre tall.

The reason behind the dwarfing of many animals in Cyprus came about through the process of insular dwarfism which is caused by gene pools limited to a small environment.
The skeletal remains discovered at the recent dig in Xylotymbou have been sent to the Geology and Paleontology Department, which operates under the wing of the University of Athens.

Cyprus and Syria to address ship dispute September 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied, Politics.
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The Foreign Ministers of Cyprus and Syria, scheduled to meet on Wednesday in New York, will address a disagreement that broke out between the two countries, relating to the docking of a Turkish vessel at a Syrian port, which originated from the closed port of Turkish occupied and military controlled city of Famagusta.

Acting Cyprus Foreign Minister Fotis Fotiou told the press today that he expects Damascus to reply to all three queries he had raised with them about last Saturday’s incident. Nicosia sought clarifications to see if the Syrian authorities have entered into an agreement with the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus, to find out if a representative of this regime had actually met Syrian government officials and whether Damascus intends to allow more ships, sailing off the closed port of Famagusta, to its shores.

“We have been told that the replies will be given to us today but I would recommend patience until tomorrow when the Foreign Minister will meet with her Syrian counterpart on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York,” Fotiou told the press today.

Replying to questions, he said that on Monday he briefed President Tassos Papadopoulos about his meeting with the Charge D’ Affaires of the Syrian embassy in Nicosia. “The President believes that we should wait for the outcome of the meeting in New York, which should clarify the situation with regard to Syrian moves on the matter,” Fotiou added. He said the government will wait and see and act accordingly.

The illegal regime in Turkish military controlled and occupied north areas of the Republic of Cyprus is recognized only by Ankara and the UN have described it as “legally invalid” and called on all states not to facilitate it in any way and not to recognize any other state in Cyprus except the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government of the Republic of Cyprus.

Illegal ferry move from occupied Famagusta in Cyprus September 24, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied.
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Turkish Cypriots in the Turkish-occupied and military controlled north areas of the Republic of Cyprus on Saturday started a ferry run between the island and Syria in a bid to break their international isolation, local television said.

The ferry left from the city port of Famagusta, Ammochostos in Greek language, currently in the Turkish-occupied and military controlled north areas of the Republic of Cyprus, which is recognised only by Ankara, for the Syrian coastal town of Latakia, Turkish Cypriot television said.

Backed by Turkey, the Turkish Cypriots have been campaigning to have transport and trade restrictions on their statelet lifted since 2004, when they voted overwhelmingly in favor of a UN reunification plan that was killed off by a strong Greek Cypriot “No” in a simultaneous referendum.

The vote’s failure ensured that the Greek Cypriots and the internationally recognized Cyprus government in the south joined the European Union alone that year, leaving the Turkish Cypriots out in the cold. The television said the ferry link was expected to become a regular service in October.