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Meet Methuselah, a Date Palm, grown from a 2,000-year-old seed

Methuselah, the Judean Date Palm, grown from a 2,000-year-old seed
discovered in Masada.
Credit: DASonnenfeld/Wikipedia/Creative Commons 4.0

According to the Biblical record, Methuselah, the grandfather of Noah, was the oldest person recorded in the Bible living to the age of 969 years.

And appropriately, this was the name that a scientist gave a Judean Date Palm that was successfully grown from a seed estimated to be 2000 years old.

Archaeologists discovered several seeds, dated to the time of Jesus, at the ancient site of Masada, a Jewish mountainous fortress, that was besieged by the Romans during the Jewish rebellion of 73 AD to 74 AD, resulting in nearly 960 Jews inside the fortress committing suicide.

It took a while for Dr. Elaine Solowey, who works for the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at the Kibbutz Ketura in Israel, to convince the archaeologists to part with one of their seeds. They described her plans to try to sprout it as mad.

But finally they gave her a single seed, and Solowey sprouted it in 2005 resulting in Methuselah, a male Date Palm. She has since planted six other seeds that also successfully grew. This second batch included two female Date Palms called Hannah and Jonah, allowing Dr. Solowey to revive the once extinct species.

At one time, Judea was covered with date palms, but they went extinct sometime between 500 AD and 1000 AD, and many believe it was due to the changing climate that was slowly growing colder, as the world entered what is now known as the little ice age.

It’s a bit ironical that the climate was able to change before the invention of the automobile.

But I am old enough to remember when environmental extremists were telling everyone in the seventies that oil usage was causing the next ice age in the seventies because the temperatures were cooling, and then a few years later stated that the same oil and related carbon emissions were now causing global warming when the temperatures started getting warmer.

Yeah, it sounds a bit like a con job.

READ: Methuselah Is Doing Very Well: This Extinct Tree from Time of Jesus was Revived from a 2,000-Year-Old Seed

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