Category: Helena


The third of the seven women was Helena. During her spotlight, Sykes takes time to imagine extensive tool making, including knives, scrapers, spear points, spear throwers, and sewing needles. It is also in this chapter that we get the first mention of cave art and ceremonies. Sykes describes the clan of Helena as becoming among the most prolific, reaching every part of the continent. Furthermore, Sykes notes that the Helena sequence serves as the “reference sequence” to which all mitochondrial mutations are compared (and for some reason, I have a feeling that Helena is his favorite). Approximately 47 percent of modern Europeans are direct maternal descendents of Helena.

Time Period: 20,000 years ago

Band Type: Hunter-Gatherer

Climate: Freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall: the height of the Ice Age.

Ancient Location: Southwest France

Modern Location: Modern descendents of Helena are well represented all throughout Europe