History and Mythology

The stories about the Battle of Giants in Halkidiki fascinated many poets and artists. As a result the conflict is one of the most common scenes depicted on ancient pottery and sculpture. All these myths are connected with the area's geological phenomena. The myths are part of the ongoing -throughout the centuries'- effort to explain the soil's peculiar and special morphology. Scientific research has indicated that the geomorphology of Paleontological Halkidiki was different than the one that is visible today. Excavations at the Petralona Cave have shown traces of what is said to be the earliest known controlled fires, started by men around 700.000 years ago. Established organized societies took place in Halkidiki around the 4th century BC. Its oldest inhabitants were called "Thracians" and "Pelasgi". It wasn't until the 8th century BC that the population was expanded by the arrival of colonists from southern Greece, mainly from the city state of Halkis (hence Halkidiki) in Evia. Other newcomers arrived from the island of Andros, the town of Corinthos and Athens, beginning to build their cities in the area. By the 5th century BC, the cities of Halkidiki got mixed up into the ongoing struggle between the Persians and Athenians and their allies, known as the Persian Wars, as described by Herodotus. One of the results was that the city of Olynthos was put to a siege, after which the Persians killed all the inhabitants. At the end of the 5th century BC, the 32 most important towns of the peninsula united, forming the "Halkidean League". 
In 352 BC Halkidiki got involved in the Peloponnesian Wars between Athens and Sparti, and then in the ensuing power struggle with King Philip II in an attempt to halt his ambition to conquer all of Greece. Their side lost the war. The city of Olynthos was destroyed, and Halkidiki was incorporated into the Macedonian Empire. 

In 1921, there was an exchange of populations, as a result of the Asia Minor catastrophe. Refugees from Asia Minor, Eastern Thrace and Bulgaria moved in and empowered Halkidiki with new economic and political strength while introducing their unique culture, music and food habits. Many incomers named their new villages after their old ones - Nea Moudania, Nea Kallikratia, Nea Flogita and Nea Plagia.