2,000-Year-Old Judean Date Seed Growing Successfully
A 2,000 year old date seed planted last Tu B’Shvat has sprouted and is over a foot tall. Being grown at Kibbutz Ketura in the Negev, it is the oldest seed to ever produce a viable young sapling.
The Judean date seed was found, together with a large number of other seeds, during archaeological excavations carried out close to Massada near the southern end of the Dead Sea, the last Jewish stronghold following the Roman destruction of the Holy Temple. The age of the seeds was determined using carbon dating, but has a margin of error of 50 years – placing them either right before or right after the Massada revolt.
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צַדִּיק כַּתָּמָר יִפְרָח כְּאֶרֶז בַּלְּבָנוֹן יִשְׂגֶּה שְׁתוּלִים בְּבֵית יְהוָה בְּחַצְרוֹת אֱלֹהֵינוּ יַפְרִיחוּ
The righteous will flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Hashem, they will flourish in the courts of our G-d.