Sowing History: The Judean Date Palm’s 2,000 Year Old Comeback
For 1,000 years the Judean Date Palm has been extinct, likely wiped out due to human warfare which took a toll on the palm plantations that required copious amount of water and care in the harsh desert environment.
The fruit from this particular species was said to be unusually sweet and was valued for its medicinal properties. Appearing on ancient coins and in ancient texts and given as gifts to Roman emperors, these dates were a symbol of property, beauty, and abundance.
This treasured fruit was lost to history—until two scientists dared to try the ‘impossible.’
In the 1960’s archaeologists excavating at Masada, a fortress built near the Dead Sea by King Herod the Great and used as the last stronghold for Jewish rebels between 70 and 73CE at the end of the first Jewish-Roman war, turned up something surprising—a 2,000-year-old jar of Judean Date Palm seeds.
For 15 years Dr. Elaine Solowey and Dr. Sarah Salon painstakingly germinated and cultivated this species back to life, and in 2020, the ancients world’s favorite date was brought back to life. Join me as we explore one of history’s most incredible comebacks 2,000 years in the making.
It is Free