Facts about Mitochondrial Eve

Born: c. 200,000 B.C.
Died: c. 200,000 B.C.
Birthplace: Africa
Best known as: Possibly the genetic 'mother' of all modern humans


Mitochondrial Eve Biography

A 1987 article in the journal Nature suggested the existence of a single ancient woman from whom all modern humans inherited mitochondrial genetic material. The primary author, Rebecca Cann, called this woman Eve and said she lived in Africa around the year 200,000 B.C. (Carr did not suggest that Mitochondrial Eve was the first human woman — only that all later humans shared her genetic material.) The theory has been disputed by other scientists and continues to be explored.

Extra credit

The full title of the paper printed in Nature was “Mitochondrial DNA and Human Evolution”… Cann was a professor at the University of Hawaii; her co-authors on the paper were Berkeley’s Allan Wilson and Mark Stoneking… Eve takes her name from the Bible’s original woman, Eve… Another genetically interesting Eve was the alleged first human clone, 2002’s Baby Eve.


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