Friday, January 16, 2009

here's a great story - for doubters

If you ever doubted the power of one,

or the power of one little seed,

or the amazing power of nature...

Then read this:

Ref SMH 14 Ref SMH 14th 2008
dating has confirmed a Judean date pain
seed found in the ruins of Masada and planted three years ago is 2000 years old.
The seed has grown into a healthy 1.2 metre-tall seedling,
surpassing the previous record for the oldest germinated seed - a
1300-year-old Chinese lotus.

The tree has been named Methuselah after the oldest person in the Bible.
It is the only living judean date palm, the last link to forests that once shaded
and nourished the Middle East.

Sarah Sallon, a director of a natural medicine reseatch centre’
in Jerusalem, became interested in the ancient palm as a possible
source of medicines. She enlisted an expert in indigenuos fruit tree
species, Elaine Solowey, to coax the seeds out of dormancy.
One sprouted.
Scientists estimated its age at 2000 years based on carbon dating of other seeds at the site, but had no way of testing the planted seed without risking its survival.
After it germinated, Dr Solowey found fragments of the seed shell
clinging to the roots, enough for dating.

The seed dates from 6OBC to AD 95
That placed the seed at Masada around the siege in 73, when,-according to the historian
Josephus, neaƱy 1000 Jewish Zealots in the fortress committed
suicide rather than submit to the Romans. They burned their food
except for one cache, to show they did not starve to death.

“These people were eating these dates up on the mountain
and looking down at the Roman camp, knowing that they were
going to die soon, and spitting out the pits,” Dr Salon said.
“Maybe here is one of those pits.”
Archaeologists found the seeds in 1965, but they sat in storage for
four decades before being planted.
Dr Sallon and her
colleagues hope to cultivate more ancient seeds and reintroduce the
Judean date palm to the area.

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