I've toyed back and forth with the idea of some sort of connection between Bell Beaker and Minoan. What do you think about that?
I wouldn't suggest an especially close or direct relationship, however there are some genetic questions that may point otherwise (between Western Europe and Crete around this time), and there are other possibilities as well. In order to be brief, I'll draw a straight line between these two points.The most promising question is the origin of the Eteocretans themselves. If the Phaistos disc is indeed Oscan-Umbrian (2014 google Dienekes), then this could be one more piece of evidence that Crete was settled by people from the Tyrrhenian Sea in the lead-up to the Sea Peoples epic. Obviously this is long after the Beaker period, however the Tyrrhenian barbarians were certainly heir to the Beaker culture, if not genetically. This could be an explanation for the prevalence of R1b U152 and the H groups in Crete which appear unusually Western European.It's possible that there was already extensive communication between the two areas going back to the EBA as some stylistic influences and stone wrist guards have been found in Crete.The opposite direction it is a little more complicated because the Eastern Mediterranean seems to pulse out influence over a long period of time. Overall, I think the simplest explanation thus far would be an early Sea People colonization.