Region on the north-east of the Peloponnese, between the Corinthian Gulf and the Chelmos and Panachaikon mountains. Historically a federation of small territories (Paus. 7).Achaea was settled from the palaeolithic period. During the late bronze age, numerous graves plus settlements (e.g. Aegira and Katarraktis) and the fortification of Teichos Dymaion indicate extensive activity (see ahhiyawa). Geometric settlement has been found along the coast (including an 8th.-cent. temple at Aegira) and inland (the Pharae valley). Achaeans may have joined the Ionian migration; Achaean colonies include *Sybaris (720 bce), *Croton (708), *Metapontum, *Caulonia (all in Italy) and *Scione (in *Chalcidice). See colonization, greek.According to Herodotus (1. 145), Achaea was divided into 12 merides each containing seven or eight dēmoi (cf. Polyb. 2. 41. 7). These comprise Pellene (the seat of games noted by Pindar), Helice, Bura, Aegira, Aegae, *Aegium, Rhypes, *Patrae, Pharae, Olenus, *Dyme, and Tritaea.