Macedonia was already inhabited in the Palaeolithic period. Although human settlements of the Neolithic and Bronze Ages have left numerous traces, only from the late Bronze Age is it possible to identify these settlements with groups known to us from literary testimonia: Greeks in Pieria, the middle reaches of the Haliakmon and the Pindos range, Brygoi (Phrygians) in Mount Bermion, Bottiaioi in the central plain, Paiones in the Axios valley.
A decisive turning-point came in the mid-7th century BC when the Argeadai Makedones settled on the fringes of the central plain and founded Aigai under the rule of the Temenid royal house. At the same time, there emerged in Upper (present-day Western) Macedonia the kingdoms of the Elimiotai, centred at Aiane, and of the Lynkestai, possibly centred at Florina. In the 6th century BC the Iron Age is followed by a period which could be named Archaic, when Macedonia, with the first appearance of written testimonia, enters historic times.