Famous uses of carbon dating
Dubbed the "Methuselah Tree" after the oldest person in the Bible, the new plant has been growing steadily, and after 26 months, the tree was nearly four-feet (1.2 meters) tall.The species of tree, called the Judean date, (Phoenix dactylifera L.), is now extinct in Israel, but researchers are hoping that by reviving the plant they may be able to study its medicinal uses."The Jews all committed suicide rather than give in to the Romans, and the Romans pretty much destroyed the site after that.It was more or less left for the next 2,000 years." The seeds were excavated about 40 years ago, along with skeletons of those who died during the siege."The medicinal plants from this region are very important because they are historically mentioned in the Bible and the Koran," said Sarah Sallon, director of the Louis L.
The new sapling was sprouted from a 2,000-year-old date palm excavated in Masada, the site of a cliff-side fortress in Israel where ancient Jews are said to have killed themselves to avoid capture by Roman invaders.Since then, the seeds had been languishing in a drawer until Sallon and her team decided to attempt to grow them anew.They turned the project over to plant specialist Elaine Solowey at the Arava Institute of the Environment in Kibbutz Ketura, Israel.Beyond being exciting as a piece of history literally come to life, Sallon said, the new date plant may hold the key to rediscovering ancient healing techniques.She pretreated the seeds in fertilizers and hormone-rich solution, and then planted them. Though a few trees have been planted from seeds that are rumored to be older than the Masada ones, the Methuselah tree holds the record for the oldest directly-dated seed to be germinated.