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Methuselah - December 2016

Methuselah - December 2016

"A Date With Time ...Methuselah - a male date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) grown from a 1900 year old seed discovered during Prof Yigal Yadin's excavations of Masada in the 1960's. It is likely that this date seed was from the food supply of the Zealots, a Jewish group who defended the fortress during the war against Rome and finally perished at the end of a long siege in 73 CE. In 2005, Dr. Sarah Sallon, Director of the Louis L. Borick Natural Medicine Research Center at Hadassah Medical Organization, Jerusalem, initiated a unique project to germinate ancient seeds found in archaeological sites in an attempt to reintroduce species that once grew in the Land of Israel. In conjunction with Dr. Elaine Solowey, Director of the Center for Sustainable Agriculture at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (AIES), the attempt was successful. In March of that year the oldest seed ever germinated produced a date seedling - "Methuselah", named after the oldest person mentioned in the Bible. "Methuselah" then attracted international attention with a mention on CNN and in National Geographic Magazine as well as a scientific article published in the journal of Science. In 2011, the seedling was planted on the grounds of Kibbutz Ketura, representing the first time in almost two millennia that the Judean Date Palm, prized in antiquity for the taste, size and medicinal properties of it's fruit, has been grown in Israel".

Elliot S
A recent picture I took of Methuselah

Methuselah - Circa 2010

Methuselah - Circa 2010

Methuselah with Dr. Elaine Solowey

Elliot S
At this time they still didn't know whether Methuselah was a male or female date palm

Judean date palm

The Judean date palm is a date palm ( Phoenix dactylifera) grown in Judea. It is not clear whether there was ever a single distinct Judean cultivar, but dates grown in the region have had distinctive reputations for thousands of years, and the date palm was anciently regarded as a symbol of the region and its fertility.

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