From the San Francisco Chronicle:
When the Romans invaded ancient
Judea, thick forests of date palmstowering up to 80 feet high and 7 miles wide covered the Jordan River valley from the Sea of Galilee in the north to the shores of the Dead Sea in the south. The tree so defined the local economy that Emperor Vespasian celebrated the conquest by minting the “Judea Capta,” a special bronze coin that showed the Jewish state as a weeping woman beneath a date palm.
Today, nothing remains of those mighty forests. The date palms in modern Israel were imported, mainly from California. The ancient
Judean date, renowned for its succulence and famed for its many medicinal properties, had been lost to history.
Elaine Solowey, a UCLA-educated botanist, living in Israel and specializing in the study of ancient plants, has successfully germinated 2,000 year-old Judean date seeds which were found on Masada.
Read the article. Imagine being able to touch (and maybe eat) a piece of Biblical history.