The researchers found that the Minoan skeletons were genetically very similar to modern-day Europeans - and especially close to modern-day Cretans. They were also genetically similar to Neolithic Europeans. The Minoan shared the greatest percentage of their mitochondrial DNA variation with European populations, especially those in Northern and Western Europe. None of the Minoans carried mitochondrial DNA variations characteristic of African populations. 9,000 years ago, there was an extensive migration of Neolithic humans from the regions of Anatolia that today comprise parts of Turkey and the Middle East. At the same time, the first Neolithic inhabitants reached Crete. Mitochondrial DNA analysis shows that the Minoan's strongest genetic relationships are with these Neolithic humans, as well as with ancient and modern Europeans, Results suggest the Minoan civilization arose 5,000 years ago in Crete from an ancestral Neolithic population that had arrived in the region about 4,000 years earlier. Data suggest that the Neolithic population that gave rise to the Minoans also migrated into Europe and gave rise to modern European peoples.