First Farmers Were Also Sailors
Guts of one of the articles:
The mitochondrial DNA sequences from the Syrian skeletons showed what the team calls “strong affinities” with ancient DNA recently recovered from roughly 7000-year-old farming villages in both Germany and Spain, confirming that populations in the Middle East were indeed the source of later farming populations in Europe. Even more important, Fernández and her colleagues say, is what the team found when it compared the Middle Eastern DNA with a database of 60 modern populations in the Middle East and Europe. That analysis revealed very close genetic affinities with people living today in Cyprus and Crete, suggesting that farmers had first migrated from the Middle East to Greece and its islands by boat, before moving on to the mainland. The alternative, more northern route, overland to Europe via modern-day Turkey, was not supported by the data, because modern populations in Turkey did not show close genetic relationships to the Syrian skeletons.
I vaguely recall something going around a few months (or heck a couple of years ago for all I know) about some controversy regarding very early artifacts on one of the Med islands that suggested very early boats. Maybe way too early to have any bearing on this, but if they were making regular enough trips by sea for enough time before they became farmers, perhaps a water route makes sense.