Archaeologists are AMAZED – Extinct Biblical Tree Grows from 2,000-Year-Old Seeds…


Archaeologists are AMAZED – Extinct Biblical Tree Grows from 2,000-Year-Old Seeds…




I admit it, I’ve owned a medal detector for well over 10 years now and absolutely love to go treasure hunting from time to time.  There’s nothing quite like coming across buried treasure with no idea of what you’re about to discover.  A quarter will put a smile on your face I guarantee it.

The story below would be a dream come true for any Archaeologist I’m sure.  It sounds like a “Jack and the Bean Stalk” kind of tale.

Imagine finding seeds near King Herod’s temple complex in Israel that were thousands of years old and you were the lucky person who got to plant one…  The real kicker here was the fact that the tree tied to these seeds are extinct and have been for centuries.


Masada, Israel: From the temple complex of King Herod Archaeologists uncovered a small clay pot containing seeds in the 1960’s.  Seeing that everyone assumed a 2,000-year-old seed could never grow, they spent the past 40 years in a drawer.



Wikimedia Commons


The seeds were radiocarbon tested and turned out to be 1,995 and 2,110 years old.



Guy Eisner, Science


In 2005 curiosity got the better of Botanical researcher Elaine Solowey. Assuming the food in the seed was no longer good, she decided to plant one.

The seeds sprouted to everyone’s amazement and slowly but surely the “Judean Date Palm” kept growing. It was in fact the first Judean date palm grown in centuries.



Guy Eisner, Science


Methuselah soon outgrew his pot and was planted at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura in Israel.  Due to its age, they nicknamed the plant Methuselah. The tree was also male so obviously, this meant it couldn’t produce fruit on his own.

After genetic testing the tree, the Date Palm was closely related to a Hayany which is a varietal that still grows in Egypt today.  Methuselah’s pollen was used to pollinate a wild female Hanany and they produced Dates that hadn’t been witnessed for thousands of years…



Wikimedia Commons


The next step for Solowey is a no brainer… She wants to plant and “ancient grove.”

This palm was once the pride of ancient Judea. Many relied on the palm for income; even Roman coins contained the palm’s image. The Judean palm dates have great flavor and many medicinal uses as well.



Wikimedia Commons


Standing 10 feet tall and healthy, Methuselah is still going strong today. The Judean palm date is looking good for the comeback of the millennium.



Arava Institute


What do you think of this comeback? Would you try an ancient date?


PLEASE leave a comment and SHARE this unique story with anyone who loves history!


H/T: LittleThings