II. Ancient and Classical Periods, 3500 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > D. Classical Greece and the Hellenistic World > 1. The Bronze Age, 3000–1200 B.C.E. > c. Mainland Greece: The Early and Middle Helladic Periods
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
c. Mainland Greece: The Early and Middle Helladic Periods
c. 2800–2500
Early Helladic I. Around 2800, Greece, like Crete, seems to have been invaded from northwest Asia Minor. The beginning of the Bronze Age corresponds roughly with this invasion. Probably the immigrants were the Pre-Hellenic population of Greece who left the non-Indo-European place names in Greece and elsewhere ending in -ssos (e.g., Knossos and Parnassos), and in -inth (Corinth). New villages sprang up throughout Greece, and there is evidence of trade with the Aegean Islands and especially Crete. Northern Greece and Thessaly were not as advanced in material culture as the southern mainland.  1
c. 2500–2200
Early Helladic II. Houses in this period were larger and some contained large storage facilities for grain. At Lerna there are remains of what may have been a palace (House of Tiles), indicating some sort of central authority. Large settlements at Zygouries and Tiryns, with gold and silver jewelry buried in tombs, suggest a rising prosperity.  2
c. 2200–1900
Early Helladic III. Signs of massive destruction are present at almost all Early Helladic period III sites. A new material culture was introduced, characterized by Minyan Ware (also called Orchomenos ware), a fine, wheel-made pottery. Whether the break in material culture represents the invasion of Greek-speakers into the region is debated. Scholars date the intrusion of the Greeks from as early as 2200 to as late as 1500 B.C.E., though most agree that the Greeks seem to have settled for some time in Thessaly before moving into the rest of the peninsula. In classical times, Greek was divided into three dialect groups: Aeolian, Ionian, and Dorian. Originally thought to predate the Greek invasion, some scholars believe the dialect division occurred after the Greeks took over the peninsula.  3
c. 1900–1600
Middle Helladic. A rapid rise in wealth and sophistication is associated with a palace-based civilization, which developed under Minoan influence. Kings and other royal persons were buried in shaft graves within a sacred precinct. One such grave at Mycenae, called Circle B, contained gold and silver objects on a small scale. In this period, Mycenaean culture was centered in the eastern Peloponnese and central Greece.  4
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.