According to the introduction written by Arthur Miller, Salem had been in existence for almost forty years when the events portrayed in the play take place, which is set in 1692. In reality, the area was settled a little before that, between 1626 and 1628, when settlers from other colonies in the area, including Massachusetts Bay, came to what had been an old Indian village. Over the next six decades, Salem Village and Salem Town developed as two different, though closely intertwined, communities. Other communities developed nearby as well, and were, like the village and town, enmeshed in the witch hunt crisis. The political interactions between these communities, particularly as they related to land ownership, have been cited by some historians as underlying causes of the witch scare. These communities had also absorbed a number of refugees from wars with Abenaki natives on the frontier and experienced a great deal of political turmoil due to the overthrow of the Dominion of New England. The complex issues that confronted these little communities, long in the making, contributed to the tragic events dramatized in the play.