At that time the country was inhabited by non-Indo-European peoples which could be relative to the ancient population of Crete and Asia Minor. Greeks called them sometimes Pelasgians, or Lelegs, or Carians (an analogy with later inhabitants of Asia). Hellenes could come to the peninsula via Balkans, but it is more likely that they first appeared on the islands in the Aegean Sea, and then on the continent. This, together with some historical materials (very ancient Greek names and settlements in Asia, like Milet or the name of Ahhiyawa) proves their way led from Asia to Europe across the Aegean Sea.

The peoples who inhabited Greece before Indo-Europeans arrived, now had to be assimilated. However, 1500 years later Herodot mentions Pelasgians who still lived in Thessalia, on some islands and in several small cities in Greece.