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Europeans can be traced to seven clans founded by seven women
  
By Birgit Hofmann

Seven women, over the past 8,000 to 45,000 years, were the founding fathers, or more appropriately, the founding mothers of Europe, according to research by Bryan Sykes, of the Institute of Molecular Genetics, Oxford University, England.

His claim that all Europeans can be traced back to these seven women are based on his study of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is exclusively passed down through the maternal line. After analyzing mtDNA samples taken from cheek swabs of 6,000 Europeans, Sykes concluded that there are seven clusters of mtDNA, each derived from one of the seven women who were founders of seven different clans.

In his study, entitled The Seven Daughters of Eve, Sykes names them Ursula, Xenia, Tara, Helena, Katrine, Valda and Jasmine.

His discovery leads him to the further conclusion that the seven clans may be descendants of one of three clans that exist today in Africa, thus reinforcing the assumption that human beings originated in ancient Africa.

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"How seven women founded Europe." The Times, London, Great Britain, page 1 and 5-7 (April 19, 2000).
 

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