The Seven Daughters Of Eve
Imagine what you’d learn about your ancestry if you could trace your heritage all the back to one of the Seven Daughters of Eve. Sound far-fetched? Or like it might be the next Dan Brown movie? Well, it would make a really good plot for a movie but don’t be so quick to label this a science fiction article and move on. As a result of a chain of events that began almost six thousand years ago, Professor Bryan Sykes, a leading world authority on DNA and human evolution has been able to genetically link a modern day woman living in Great Britain all the way back to one of the Seven Sisters of Eve.
In 1991, two men on a climbing holiday in the Alps happened upon the body of a man half buried in the ice. Although this may sound gruesome, it’s not an unusual occurrence to come upon a body as high as they were in the Alps. The climbers simply assumed it was some poor soul who’d met with an unfortunate accident, marked the spot and continued down the mountain where they then notified the proper authorities.
At first glance it was thought that the body was a gentlemen who was last seen in the area around 50 years earlier. But there were several tools scattered on the ground around the body that appeared to be older than 50 years and on closer inspection it was determined that they were not just fifty years old or even a hundred and fifty. They were thousands of years old and this investigation that had previously been handled by the local authorities now became a discovery of international importance among the archeological community.
The remains of the Iceman, as he soon became known, were flown to Innsbruck, Austria where he was stored, frozen, while an International team of archeologists and scientists was assembled to study this unique find, detail by detail. Professor Bryan Sykes, whose research team at Oxford had been the first in the world to recover DNA from ancient human specimens, was contacted to see if he and his team could find traces of DNA in the Iceman.
Using radiocarbon analysis – carbon dating – it was determined that the Iceman was well over 5000 years old but because his body had been in a frozen state since his death it was possible for Professor Sykes to extract DNA from the remains and conduct additional research. In order to prevent any claims of fraud or hoax about his findings, all tests were conducted and re-conducted from every possible angle. Even so far as to cross-match the Iceman’s DNA with samples of DNA that had been donated by modern day, living, human beings.
Through a remarkable series of coincidences it was found that the Iceman’s DNA was exactly the same as the DNA of modern Europeans. But what was even more remarkable was the the DNA sample for comparison had come from one of Professor Syke’s own assistants. And there was a direct, unbroken link between the DNA of Marie Moseley and the Iceman. Which meant that Marie was a direct descendant of the Iceman himself.
Professor Sykes presents a very compelling and entertaining view of the possibility of tracing the lineage of every human on earth back to seven distinct women – The Seven Daughters Of Eve – who all shared a common ancestor – The Mitochondrial Eve.