HISTORY OF MACEDONIA Occupying the bigger part of northern Greece, Macedonia first appears on the historical scene as a geographical-political unit in the 5th century BC, when it extended from the upper waters of the Haliakmon and Mount Olympus to the river Strymon. In the following century it reached the banks of the Nestos. The history of the Macedonians, however, may be said to commence somewhere around the beginning of the 7th century BC; at this time the Greek tribe of the Makedones, whose home was in Orestis, began to expand, driving out the Thracians and contending with the Illyrians, and gradually occupied Eordaia, Bottiaia, Pieria and Almopia, finally settling in the region called by Thucydides "Lower Macedonia, or Macedonia by the Sea".
Prehistoric period This region of high mountains, large rivers, lakes and fertile plains makes its appearance on the stage of civilization as early as the Early Neolithic Period (Nea Nikomedeia, region of Yanitsa). The density of the settlements, however, shows a vertical increase at the end of the 5th millennium BC (Late Middle Neolithic) and attests, throughout the whole of the region though especially in central and east Macedonia, to significant mobility on the part of the population and to its characteristic dynamism. These same settlements prospered until the Early Bronze Age - that is, until the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC -most of them organized in the plains, with houses either square or rectangular in plan, sometimes with wooden posts and sometimes with stone foundations for the walls.