As the Neolithic revolution became more widespread and larger fixed settlements began to spring up, it became inevitable that these Old Europeans and Proto-Nordic types would start establishing formal societies. The Old European civilisations then came into being, laying much of the groundwork for the later development of Classical Greece and Rome.
Although these Old European civilisations were in fact quite distinct from classical Greece and Rome, they are often mistakenly thought of as one and the same thing.
The original, or Old European settlements, dominated huge areas of Europe and Russia, stretching from Italy right through to the Black sea, including all of modern Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and part of the Ukraine.
The crucial difference is however that the Old European civilisations were created by the original continental Europeans (Proto-Nordic, Alpine and Mediterranean, with the latter two being in the majority) while the classical civilisations of Greece and Rome received their impetus from Indo-European or Nordic invasions which had started around 5000 BC.
The continental Old European civilisations in the Aegean were the Cretan civilisation, centered at Knossos on the island of Crete; the city state of Troy situated slightly south of the Bosporus straits in Asia Minor; certain smaller city states on the Greek mainland; and the Etruscans in Italy.
These city-states were the first to fall before the great Indo-European invasions, people who had mastered the art of copper working. Absorbed into the Indo-European peoples, the Old Europeans largely disappeared and this mix of White peoples laid the basis for the Mycenaean culture which replaced the Cretan civilisation as the dominant force in the Aegean.