The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our
Genetic Ancestry - By Bryan
Sykes | Click to order this book
Sykes provides an extraordinary picture of
the origins and global migrations of Homo sapiens sapiens, modern humans, us. And he
does so in a clear and thoroughly readable way without sensationalizing the science
underpinning his narrative. Few scientists have the skills and patience to convey their
research findings in appealing and meaningful ways to the general reader. Sykes does.
If you are just beginning to explore this
often fascinating topic or are looking for a thorough updating on new research in human
origins and population genetics, this volume is the one to read.
Searching for Ways to Trace Human
Lineages & Migrations
Scientists have attempted to identify
patterns of human differences in hopes that such patterns would provide an understanding
of the development of our species of hominid and the various populations of humans around
the world. They have measured skulls, tested blood groups and more, but none proved to be
as precise as our genetic "fingerprints," and in particular the DNA in our
mitochondria and X-chromosomes.
|Remarkably, only mothers pass
mitochondrial DNA to their daughters and sons, providing a way to trace female lineages.
And only fathers pass on their X-chromosomes to their sons, providing a way to trace male
This science is allowing researchers --
including author Bryan Sykes -- to provide solid answers to questions such as these:
modern humans develop in Africa and spread throughout the world, replacing previous
species such as Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis?
people colonize the Polynesian Islands from the west in Southeast Asia or did they come
from the east in South America as Thor Heyerdahl proposed in his famous book Kon Tiki?
are the Basques distinctive in language and genetics?
the ancestors of todays Europeans trace their lineages primarily to the original Ice
Age settlers of the continent or to the peoples who later spread out of the Middle East
thousands of years ago with the new agricultural lifestyle?
Once Sykes answers the last question above
based on his genetic studies, he provides seven vivid narratives, one for each of the
seven "founding mothers" he calls Helena, Jasmine, Katrine, Tara, Ursula, Velda,
and Xenia. These seven names represent the letters H, J, K, T, U, V and X that are used to
designate the major genetic haplogroups or female lineages found in Europe. The seven
stories reflect well the lives of early Europeans starting some 45,000 years ago and
continuing through the last great Ice Age and to the start of the Agricultural Revolution.
Again, we recommend this book highly for its
clear science writing combined with creative narratives that bring to life so very well
the origins, migrations and lives of Europes earliest modern humans.
Review by Barbara B. Petura,
here to order
The Seven Daughters of Eve online
AUTHOR: Bryan Sykes is a professor of human genetics at Oxford University
in England and the founder of Oxford Ancestors, a firm providing individuals with their
maternal and paternal lineages. He is well known for his research into mitochondrial DNA
and human population genetics, has authored more than 130 scientific papers, helped
date the Ice Man found in the Alps, and has been a television reporter and a parliamentary
scientific advisor. He is also the editor of The Human Inheritance: Genes, Language,
PUBLISHER: W.W. Norton & Company, 2001
MORE RESOURCES: To
learn more about mtDNA haplogroups, genetic genealogy and the Seven Daughters of Eve, see
our Web guide U5 Haplogroup and Ursula
MORE RESOURCES: To learn more about
scientific discoveries about ancient human migrations and populations, use our Web guide Paleolithic of
Eurasia and Alaska.