July 14, 2016 at 12:44 am #57508
Found this article while browsing: Ancient date palm sprouts. I wonder if there have been experiments to try and get other ancients seeds to sprout and try and revive extinct species of archaeological discoveries. I know that ancient barley and wheat was discovered in egyptian tombs.July 14, 2016 at 7:21 pm #57510
“Judean date palms were wiped out by about A.D. 500.” I wonder what happened to cause that. It’s a really neat find, although I wonder why the seeds didn’t decay over time.July 14, 2016 at 11:47 pm #57511
I would imagine environmental and societal factors led to the plants extinction. The Holy Land was a much greener place in antiquity than it is today. As to why the seeds did not decay, that is question I would like to know the answer to as well. I have planted seeds that were up to ten years old and had only 10-15% germinate. I am not a plant biologist either, I just threw mine in the dirt and gave em some water then waited to see what happened.July 15, 2016 at 12:16 pm #57512
I guess I didn’t know that the Holy Land was greener back in ancient times, although that may make explain some of the lush biblical imagery that we hear about. Still, I wonder why some of the Judean date palms weren’t grown elsewhere if they were so special. Perhaps no one appreciated what they had until they were gone.
This year I used seeds from packets that were about 3-4 years old to grow plants. The basil seeds did germinate (and the plant is doing nicely now), and I think so did the cilantro and oregano plants (but died soon thereafter), but some pepper seeds never germinated. I imagine the durability of seeds must rely on several factors, such as plant type, moisture, and other conditions.July 16, 2016 at 2:40 am #57515
Lebanon was famed in antiquity for its trees. It was known for quality cedar and as a source of ship’s masts. Egypt was the bread basket of the ancient world. I read somewhere that ancient Egyptian agriculture was upwards of twice as productive as it is today.July 16, 2016 at 10:00 pm #57517
I assume that Egyptian agriculture was productive at least in part due to the flooding of the Nile which lasted until the Aswan dam was constructed (I believe in the late 1960s).July 18, 2016 at 10:54 am #57518
That was exactly why Egyptian agriculture was so productive. Remember, Egypt was Rome’s breadbasket. That is why Caesar went there in the first place, the Egyptians were threatening to stop grain shipments.
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