avdira post neolithic but stillstone workNeolithic period (7000-3000 BC)

The first actual human structures in Greece have been dated to around 6000 BC, structures, which were large and rectangular, were found near Veria, at Nea Nikomedhia. These represented the oldest farming communities not only in Greece, but in Europe. That farming, and the domestication of animals, came to Greece from Anatolia, is evidenced in artifacts found in this site.

In the great fertile plain of Thessaly, wheat and barley were cultivated, sheep and goats were raised, and pottery was produced, including both utilitarian items and statuettes of the Earth goddess, seen as source of fertility. Actual villages existed by 4000 BC, with squares, streets, and houses of mud brick; with the focal point palace complexes which were the seat of local officialdom in some. There are two Neolithic sites near the city of Volos, in Thessaly, on the Pagasitic Gulf, that can be visited , one of them Dimini (4800-4500 BC); the second is Sesklo, both with no admission fee, and both open 8:30 am to 7 pm from Tuesday to Sunday (at least in tourist season).

mother goddessThese are the most complete settlements dating from the Neolithic period in Greece. The oldest acropolis in Greece is found at Sesklo, dating to 6000 BC; its lack of fortifications and its beautiful burnished, painted pottery, suggest a thriving, and peaceful agricultural culture.;t he presence of obsidian, imported from the volcanic Cycladic island of Milos, demonstrates the existence of trade as well. All that remains of the old rectangular mud-brick houses is their stone foundations. The village of Dimini had concentric fortification walls, and on the summit (acropolis), a large structure with a pillared portico that led into a main hall, suggesting the later megaron (main hall in the palaces of Mycenaean kings).