Yardsmart: Resurrecting ancient date palm seeds shows why old plant varieties can be valuable in a changing world

April 6, 2015 12:07 PM

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She peered over the edge of the cliffs nibbling her last dry date as the Roman road neared the top of their stronghold of Masada. Then she returned to the store room and added this last seed to a small clay jar. One day she would plant them all in her new home, after her people were finally free of the conquerors.

This is how it may have been in those days before the legions finally reached Masada heights to invade the palace of Herod the Great, where a rebellious sect of Jews refused to succumb to the emperor. When that day came, the invaders discovered only the bodies of those Jews, dead by their own hands ...

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