The ancient Greeks were sailors and explorers, settling regions around the Mediterranean Sea.
The Greeks began founding colonies as far back as 900 to 700 B.C.E. These colonies were founded to provide a release for Greek overpopulation, land hunger, and political unrest. Iron tools and new farming techniques allowed the Greeks to farm larger pieces of land. But as farms got bigger, they got more crowded. Soon there was not enough land for everyone living in Greece. Colonies were a solution to this problem.
Most of the Greek colonies were founded on the shores of the Mediterranean and Black Seas. These colonies were relatively easy to reach for the seafaring Greeks. And since the climate and land was similar to that of Greece, the colonists could lead a life very similar to the one they would have had back home.
This set of images and artifacts provide background information on this movement. Students should consider these resources when analyzing the reasons behind Greek colonization of the Mediterranean region.