The question of the origins of the Minoans and their relationship to the Mycenaeans, Europe’s first literate societies, has long puzzled researchers. A paper published today in Nature suggests that, rather than being advanced outsiders, the Minoans had deep roots in the Aegean and were closely related to the Mycenaeans, and to modern Greeks.
DNA analysis of archaeological remains has revealed that Ancient Minoans and Mycenaens were genetically similar with both peoples descending from early Neolithic farmers. They likely migrated from Anatolia to Greece and Crete thousands of years before the Bronze Age. Modern Greeks are largely descendants of the Mycenaeans, the study found.The Minoan civilization flourished on Crete beginning in the third millennium B.C.E. and was advanced artistically and technologically. The Minoans were also the first literate people of Europe.