The current coastline of Aegean Sea dates back to about 4000 BC. Before that time, at the peak of the last ice age sea levels everywhere were 130 meters lower, and there were large well-watered coastal plains instead of much of the northern Aegean. When they were first occupied, the present-day islands including Milos with its important obsidian production were probably still connected to the mainland. The present coastal arrangement appeared on 7000 BC, with post-ice age sea levels continuing to rise for another 3,000 years after that.
The subsequent Bronze Age civilizations of Greece and the Aegean Sea have given rise to the general term Aegean civilization. In ancient times, the sea was the birthplace of two ancient civilizations – the Minoans of Crete and the Mycenean Civilization of the Peloponnese.
Later arose the city-states of Athens and Sparta among many others that constituted the Athenian Empire and Hellenic Civilization. Plato described the Greeks living round the Aegean "like frogs around a pond". The Aegean Sea was later invaded by the Persians and the Romans, and inhabited by the Byzantine Empire, the Bulgarians, the Venetians, the Genoeses, the Seljuq Turks, and the Ottoman Empire. The Aegean was the site of the original democracies, and its seaways were the means of contact among several diverse civilizations of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia