Contact: Meredith Dickenson or Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7654

May 8, 2003

The Hunt For "Eve": The Origins And Dispersal Of Modern Humans

WHAT: A symposium with leading anthropologists discussing the State of the Science, including groundbreaking news that all members of the modern human species, Homo sapiens, can trace their ancestry to one woman -- "Eve," an African woman who lived in the South Sahara desert more than 250,000 years ago. The symposium will pay tribute to SMU Anthropology Professor emeritus Fred Wendorf, who will be receiving an honorary doctor of science from the university May 17. The symposium is presented by SMU's Department of Anthropology, the Provost's Office and Dedman College.
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 16, with a reception to follow.
WHERE: Room 131 Dedman Life Sciences Building, 6501 Airline Road (map at
COST: Free and open to the public.
  • Harvard University Anthropologist Ofer Bar-Yosef, who has traced the descendants of "Eve" as they traveled out of Africa and crossed over to the Near East and Europe;
  • George Washington University Anthropologist Alison Brooks, who discovered early bone harpoons in Central Africa, an important clue to understanding the development of early modern human behavior south of the Sahara Desert;
  • Anthropologist John Yellen, director of the National Science Foundation's Archaeology Program, who researches modern-day African Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert to learn how they make and break camp in order to understand how their ancestors did the same thousands of years ago.
  • Wendorf, who holds the distinction as the first person to date accurately the oldest known modern human tools. His find was the historic first step in understanding the origins of modern humans;
  • and moderated by SMU Anthropologist Garth Sampson.

For more information about the symposium, contact SMU's Department of

Anthroplogy at 214-768-2684.