• Name: Paul McLerran
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Monday, June 13, 2005

Ancient Judean Date Palm Resurrected

Scientists may not ever be able to reproduce dinosaurs, as dramatically depicted in the popular film "Jurassic Park" -- but ancient date palms? That's another trick, entirely......but a successful one. Israeli scientists have recently successfully germinated a nearly 2,000 year old date palm seed excavated from Masada, the ancient cliff-top fortress where, in 73 A.D., a group of 960 Jewish zealots held out against a Roman siege before finally ending their own lives rather than succumbing to the hands of Roman victors. By studying the resurrected date palm, scientists hope to discover what made the famous Judean date palm so well regarded in ancient times for its shade, beauty, medicinal products and food.

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