1987 – USA
‘All humans have evolved from a single woman – dubbed Eve – or, more likely from a small group of women, who lived about 200,000 years ago in Africa’
This hypothesis has been proposed after examining the mitochondrial DNA from 147 individuals from Africa, Europe, Australia and Papua New Guinea.
The mtDNA is passed to the next generation only in the mother’s egg cell – with no contribution from the father because the sperms’ mitochondria do not survive fertilisation. The mtDNA of an individual is thus inherited from the female line.
133 different mtDNA types were used to draw an evolutionary tree that relates these types to each other and to a derived ancestral mtDNA tree. Their mtDNA tree had a common primary root of descent.
Not all scientists support the hypothesis. They argue that humans originated about one million years ago in different regions of the world.