Historical Periods Relevant to Ancient Greece and Sparta: 6500-2900 BC: Neolithic Period. - Settlement begins throughout Greek mainland and islands. 2900-2000 BC: Bronze Age. 1050-750 BC: Early Period. - Also known as the Dark Ages of Greece. - Distinct Greek culture develops involving alphabet. - First Olympic Games are held. 750-500 BC: Archaic Period. - Greeks search for new land for agriculture, setting up City-States throughout the Mediterranean that function as political units or polis, each rules by a king and council. - Spartans conquer southwest Peloponnese in the first Messenian War. 500-323 BC: Classical Period. - Interest develops in literature, philosophy and artwork. - Persian wars between Greek states and Persia. - Peloponnesian wars between Sparta and Athens. 323-31 BC: Hellenistic Period. - Goths ruin Athens and Sparta. - Greece becomes part of the Roman Empire and is divided, forming modern Greece.