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This paper shows the remarkable level of social history that can be drawn from the high quality excavation and analysis of a well-preserved stratigraphic sequence. A Bronze Age settlement in Cyprus could be defined as a series of households, comprising dwellings, outbuildings and courtyards that were established, extended, replaced or abandoned over some 500 years. The authors' interpretation offers intimate access to the private lives of the inhabitants over a period in which their settlement grew from a village to a town and then reverted to a deserted ruin.