Sunday, 10 January 2010

ancient lentils

No, not the ones that Neil from the Young Ones left at the back of the kitchen cupboard: these are really ancient lentils. A 4000-year-old lentil seed found in Turkey on an archaeological dig has germinated, and it is hoped that it will produce a viable plant and more seeds, so that a strain of the plant that has never been cross-bred can be studied.
Ancient seed sprouts plant from the past — Megalithic Portal
A 4,000-year-old lentil seed found during an archeological excavation has germinated, exciting scientists as the event might lead to invaluable data for comparisons between the organic and genetically engineered plants of today. ‘It would be the first seed from very old times whose genes were never modified,’ say the scientists.

Project leader and Dumlupınar University archeology faculty Professor Nejat Bilgen said they found the seeds during an excavation undertaken last year in Kütahya province.

Bilgen said a layer from the container in which they found the seeds was determined to be from the middle bronze age. His team found many seeds, but most had been burnt. They had failed to make the others turn green before the recent success.

“A seed dug from underground and dating back approximately 4,000 years sprouted. The plant that came out of this seed is under examination and will be presented to the scientific community [so they can] make various analyses over it,” Bilgen said.

2 comments:

Titus said...

Utterly astonishing.

Snoozepossum said...

Coolbeans - literally!

Germinating after so long boggles the mind. Hope BAS makes it to pod production