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Click link to order The Seven Daughters of Eve
The Seven
Daughters of Eve:
The Science that
Reveals Our
Genetic Ancestry

Review of a Book on Human Origins

The Seven Daughters of Eve:
The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry
By Bryan Sykes | Click to order this book

The scientific quest to understand human origins is a popular topic with the lay public as many of us are curious about who we are and where we came from as a species. In this illuminating and well written book, Bryan Sykes goes a long way toward satisfying that curiosity.  Click to continue reading the review.

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Click link to order The Human Inheritance
The Human Inheritance: Genes,
Language and


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The Journey of Man:
A Genetic Odyssey


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Genetics and the
Search for Modern
Human Origins


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Mapping Human History: Discovering the Past Through
Our Genes


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Genes, Peoples
and Languages


   Review of a Book on Human Origins, continued [ Top ]

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 lineages.

Learn More
about mtDNA

This science is allowing researchers -- including author Bryan Sykes --  to provide solid answers to questions such as these:

blu-soft.gif (924 bytes) Did modern humans develop in Africa and spread throughout the world, replacing previous species such as Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis?

blu-soft.gif (924 bytes) Did 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?

blu-soft.gif (924 bytes) Why are the Basques distinctive in language and genetics?

blu-soft.gif (924 bytes) Do the ancestors of today’s 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 Europe’s earliest modern humans.

Review by Barbara B. Petura, Webmaster

Click 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, and Evolution.

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.

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