Date seed dating
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The word “date” comes from the Greek word daktylos, meaning finger. One cup of dates has about 400 calories, 27 percent of the recommended daily requirement of potassium and 48 percent of daily fiber needs. Dates are rich in the antioxidants known as polyphenols, which fight disease-causing free-radicals. It’s the symbol of the goddess Ishtar, prototype of Venus and Aphrodite. Date palms were brought to Spain from North Africa around 800 AD. Marie Hickman is a longtime TV journalist turned blogger for and other websites.For the next four decades, the ancient seeds were kept in a drawer at Tel Aviv's Bar-Ilan University. Today, the living archeological treasure continues to grow and thrive; In 2011, it even produced its first flower -- a heartening sign that the ancient survivor was eager to reproduce.But then, in 2005, botanical researcher Elaine Solowey decided to plant one and see what, if anything, would sprout."I assumed the food in the seed would be no good after all that time. It has been proposed that the tree be cross-bred with closely related palm types, but it would likely take years for it to begin producing any of its famed fruits.The San Francisco Chronicle was granted the first viewing of the historic seedling, which sprouted about four weeks after planting.It has grown six leaves, but one has been removed for DNA testing so scientists can learn more about its relationship to its modern-day cousins.Dates have become the superfood of the moment: the breakfast, lunch and coffee sweetener of champions.
Touted by whole foods enthusiasts and Paleo eaters, this naturally dry fruit is a powerhouse of minerals, energy and fiber.
For thousands of years, Judean date palm trees were one of the most recognizable and welcome sights for people living in the Middle East -- widely cultivated throughout the region for their sweet fruit, and for the cool shade they offered from the blazing desert sun.
From its founding some 3,000 years ago, to the dawn of the Common Era, the trees became a staple crop in the Kingdom of Judea, even garnering several shout-outs in the Old Testament.
Judean palm trees would come to serve as one of the kingdom's chief symbols of good fortune; King David named his daughter, Tamar, after the plant's name in Hebrew.
By the time the Roman Empire sought to usurp control of the kingdom in 70 AD, broad forests of these trees flourished as a staple crop to the Judean economy -- a fact that made them a prime resource for the invading army to destroy.
Sadly, around the year 500 AD, the once plentiful palm had been completely wiped out, driven to extinction for the sake of conquest.