A Cornell University press release tell us of how the view of Cyprus Neolithic is changing as research advances.
"Up until two decades ago, nobody thought anybody had gone to Cyprus before about 8,000 years ago, and the island was treated as irrelevant to the development of the Neolithic in the Near East," Manning said. "Then Alan Simmons (now at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas) discovered a couple of sites that seemed to suggest Epipaleolithic peoples went there maybe about 12,000 or 13,000 years ago, much earlier than anyone had thought possible. The big question started to become in the field, well, what happened in between?"
The new findings at Ayia Varvara Asprokremnos, in the central part of the island, place early Cypriot Neolithic c. 11,000 years ago (9000 BCE), totally in line with mainland Neolithic in West Asia: PPNA may be as old as 10,700 BCE, with more common occurrences after 9500 BCE. So the Neolithic of Cyprus seems to be one of the first offshoots of West Eurasian Neolithic.
... these dates mean that Cyprus, an island tens of miles off the Levantine coast, was involved in the very early Neolithic world, and thus long-distance sea travel and maritime communication must now be actively factored into discussions of how the Neolithic developed and spread.
Ref. Sturt W. Manning et al., The earlier Neolithic in Cyprus: recognition and dating of a Pre-Pottery Neolithic A occupation. Antiquity 2010. Pay per view.
Found via R&D, via Archaeology in Europe.