Who was Ursula? 

 

According to Professor Sykes, Ursula was likely born about 45,000 years ago in the mountains of Greece.  This time period is close to the beginning of the Ice Age.  Ursula and her family likely encountered Neanderthals.  Her people were slightly taller than Neanderthals and much slimmer, a trait that helped her ancestors adapt better to their previous homelands of the Middle East and Africa.  Neanderthals were shorter and stockier, with large broad noses, built better for the colder weather of Europe where they resided for the past quarter million years.  It is thought that Ursula's people did not "kill off" Neanderthals, but rather, they were a more social animal, and their communication skills allowed them to more efficiently gather and share the living supplies available in the new land.  The average life expectancy at that time is estimated to be around 35 years.   Both Sykes ("Seven Daughters of Eve") and Oppenheimer ("The Real Eve") agree that Ursula's Clan, and her mtDNA haplogroup U5, were the first permanent Homo sapiens in Europe. Today, the highest proportion of Ursula descendents are found in Scandinavia, Germany, and the area of the United Kingdom.