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History
The Stone Age

The earliest stages of settlement and social evolution occurred in Greece between 10,000 and 3000 B.C., building the foundation for major advances to begin shortly thereafter. Current evidence suggests that Greece was settled by people from the Near East, primarily Anatolia. But some historians argue that groups from Central Europe also moved into the area. Extensive archeological remains of a number of farming villages of the Neolithic Era (the last period of the Stone Age, approximately 10,000 to 3000 B.C.) have been discovered in the plains of Thessaly in present-day eastcentral Greece. Larger villages built between 3500 and 3000 B.C. show that in that period society was becoming more complex, and that an elite group was forming. Shortly thereafter, craft specialists began to appear, and the form of social organization shifted from tribalism to chiefdoms. Population increased in this period at a slow rate. 

Meanwhile, the island of Crete (Kriti) was first inhabited around 6300 B.C. by people from Anatolia. These early groups brought with them a wide range of domesticated plants and animals. They settled at Knossos, which remained the only settlement on the island for centuries. Only in the final phase of the late Stone Age, did the civilization on Crete begin to advance, and only then did real farming villages appear in other parts of the island. The social structure remained tribal, but it set the stage for change.

Earliest History



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