The Prehistoric Period
The term Pelasgi is used to describe the first inhabitants of Greece (Hellas in Greek) during the mythological and prehistoric period.
These early inhabitants of Greece, the islands and Crete, were not Greeks but a Mediterranean people akin to the population of the Western coasts of Asia Minor.
The migration of various Northern tribes began in the Neolithic Age, i.e. up to 3000 B.C., and their object was to settle in a more southerly land with a milder
The first Greeks came from the North at about 2000 B. C. and settled in Greece where they fused with the earlier inhabitants who had developed a certain civilization. The Achaeans and Ionians are the first Hellenic races mentioned.
During the same period a legendary king, referred to as Minos, ruled over a powerful state in Crete.
The Cretan civilization developed early, already by the middle of the Third Millenium B. C., and reached its peak at about 1800-1500 B.C.
This civilization, known as the Minoan Civilization, from King Minos, is distinguished for its early flourishing and astounding progress in the arts, and its marvelous monuments, in painting, sculpture, ceramics and architecture of which the magnificent Palace at Cnossos in Crete is the masterpiece of Cretan culture. The island of Crete was the greatest and earliest maritime power in the whole of the Mediterranean and the Middle East during the mythological and early years. The Cnossos Palace, that was discovered in 1900 and subsequently excavated and reconstructed by the British Archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, as well as the important findings at the Herakleion Museum, near Cnossos, prove the splendour of the Minoan Civilization.