Africa Lake Victoria Eve

About 200,000 years ago, an early modern woman was born, near Lake Victoria.Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is the largest tropical lake, and the second largest freshwater lake, in the world. (Lake Superior in North America is the largest freshwater lake).

Scientists called her Eve, because she is the maternal ancestor of everyone alive today. But Eve was not the first modern woman, nor was she the only modern woman alive 200,000 years ago (according to one estimate, the early modern human population at that time was about 10,000).

She is not our only female ancestor, nor is she our oldest female ancestor. But she is the starting point of our maternal line, from whom we are all descended 200,000 years ago on the shores of Lake Victoria. She is our most recent common ancestor.

On its western shore, the main mouth of Lake Victoria is the source of the Kagera River. To the north, the Lake is a source of the River Nile, the longest river in the world.

Lake Victoria is bordered by several countries and language groups. 

Lake Victoria sits in a shallow depression of the East African Plateau. About 20 million years ago the crust of the earth weakened and was torn apart across the African continent and many years later beautifully transformed into The Rift Valley.

But what seems to be a single rift is really a series of related rift basins that produce the distinctive geology and topography of East Africa.

When a rift valley is created, the crust on the valley floor thins out allowing the upwelling of magma to create Continental Rift volcanoes.
Many hominid fossil finds occur within the rift, and the rift’s evolution may have played an integral role in human evolution.

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