Remember the date palm growing from a 2,000 year-old seed? Well here is more.
A date tree grown from the oldest viable seed in the world to be sprouted was planted Thursday at Kibbutz Ketura in the Arava, for therapeutic uses.
The tree, now 2.5-meters tall, was grown from a 2,000-year-old seed that archeologists found at a Masada dig in the 1960s. A team of researchers sprouted it, and it was initially planted in a secret location so it would not be stolen.
Now it is hoped that the plant, which is of a rare species, will produce fruit that could be used for medicinal purposes and for food…
How fascinating! Do read on here.
HT: Bible Places
Breathtaking Masada, located on an isolated mesa in the Judean Desert, is one the most dramatic historic sites in Israel.
Via Arutz Sheva:
Masada is located on an isolated mesa in the Judean Desert, the steep and erect slopes to which rise to a height of more than 400 meters above the Dead Sea. The combination of cliffs and escarpments in a desert region has given the place a natural defense system.
Despite its natural fortification, King Herod encircled the flat top of Masada with a strong wall (which was made up of two parallel walls). This is not a trivial task, as the length of the peak of Masada is about 600 meters and its width, at the center, is 300 meters.
Masada was not just built by Herod as a fort, but a royal castle with large palaces, a sophisticated bath house and smaller palaces which were intended to serve Herod’s family.
The top level had four bedrooms and a semicircular balcony, from which there was a spectacular view of the Dead Sea, Ein Gedi, and the Moab Mountains. A sophisticated and hidden staircase led to a middle level in which a large hall was built, surrounded by a veranda whose poles were placed at the edge of the cliff. The staircase went down to the bottom level, in which a large hall surrounded by vestibules was established. The walls of the hall were decorated with spectacular frescoes. A private bathhouse was built adjacent to the hall for the occupants of the northern palace.
At the peak were 29 large warehouses, each one 27 meters long. Excavations of the site found hundreds of pottery vessels in which huge amounts of food were stored. Thus, using a rare combination of natural conditions and human endeavors, Masada became a cliff that was almost impossible to conquer.
The great halls of the palaces were unsuitable for housing families, and thus became headquarters and public buildings.
The building near the north wall, which served as a stable in the days of Herod, was later turned into a synagogue. This is one of the Jewish people’s most ancient synagogues, known to be in use during the period of the second Holy Temple in Jerusalem, an unusual occurrence as synagogues became the accepted place to pray only after the destruction of the second Temple.
The Masada defenders also built two halakhic ritual baths, which conform to present day halakha. Since they date from the period before the Oral Law was written down in the Mishna, this is an indication of halakhic accuracy and continuity…
Read on here.
HT: Ferrell Jenkins
Me at Masada: