The earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia, and Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world.
The earliest known foreign settlements on the island were mainly of Phoenicians and Greeks, with Phoenician culture dominating the island's eastern and southern parts. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC, though Greek culture did not come to dominate on the island until its conquest by Alexander the Great.
As a strategic location in the Middle East, it was subsequently occupied by several major powers, including the empires of the Assyrians, Egyptians, and Persians, from whom the island was seized in 333 BC by Alexander the Great.
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