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Cyprus, a place of spectacular natural beauty and the home of the goddess Aphrodite, is the easternmost island in the Mediterranean and the third in size after Sicily and Sardinia. Its geographical position and rich bronze ores made it a station for the carrying trade between the Aegean and Near East. The exchange of products and ideas and the fusion of different traditions created a splendid civilization, which managed to maintain its individual character throughout its long history, although it adopted many features from the East.

In the permanent exhibition of Cypriot antiquities at the National Archaeological Museum 180 finds are on display. These finds emphasize various facets of ancient life on Cyprus, such as religion, art and trade and document the particular nature of Cypriot civilization and its ties over time with the culture of Mainland Greece. Of these finds the most noteworthy are the elaborate Prehistoric and Archaic vases, the impressive dedicatory figurines and various examples of remarkable sculpture displaying obvious Greek influence, such as the bronze objects (five of these having been kindly lent by the Republic of Cyprus especially for the exhibition).

The exhibition is accompanied by audiovisual material intended to supplement the archaeological finds on display, as they introduce the visitor to the physical environment and the varied history of the island.

The Cypriot Collection of the National Archaeological Museum was gradually formed over the 19th century thanks to purchases made on behalf of the Archaeological Society in 1879 and donations made by collectors in 1880, 1895 and 1897. In the early 20th century, it was further enriched by means of purchases, donations and official exchanges. Today the Cypriot Collection of the National Archaeological Museum numbers some 850 objects, which represent all periods of Cypriot history and art ranging from the Early Bronze Age (about 2500 BC) to Late Roman times (4th century AD).