Tree Grown From Ancient Seed Found in Jewish Fortress





Scientists have grown a tree from what may be the oldest seed ever germinated.

The new sapling was sprouted from a 2,000-year-old date palm excavated in Masada, the site of a cliff-side fortress in Israel where ancient Jews are said to have killed themselves to avoid capture by Roman invaders.

Dubbed the "Methuselah Tree" after the oldest person in the Bible, the new plant has been growing steadily, and after 26 months, the tree was nearly four feet (1.2 meters) tall.

The species of tree, called the Judean date, (Phoenix dactylifera L.), is now extinct in Israel, but researchers are hoping that by reviving the plant they may be able to study its medicinal uses.


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Randll Reese Besch - 6/18/2008

I thought the melting has exposed seeds from hundreds of thousands of years ago that have also sprouted! What of them?