From the very beginning, the Minoans were in contact with people of other cultures, and the only way that contact could happen was by sea. Even in the neolithic period, a skein of east-west trade routes was established across the Aegean. Andel and Runnels (1988) have identified three early trade routes: a northern route from Anatolia to Attica by way of Samos, Ikaria, Mikonos, Tinos and Kea, a central route running from Anatolia by way of the Cyclades to Argolis, and a southern route which went by way of Crete. This southern route followed the arc-shaped line of islands which forms the outer limit of the Aegean world, an island-hopping route connecting Anatolia, Rhodes, Karpathos, Kasos, Andikithera and Lakonia, taking in the neolithic settlements of the eastern and northern coasts of Crete on the way.