Ancient Seed Germination, 4,000 Years

Researchers germinate 4,000-year-old seed

Announcing in December 2009 that a 4,000-year-old seed that was found during an archaeological dig in the Aegean city of Kütahya has germinated, Professor Nejat Bilgen from Dumlupınar University said that being able to analyze the characteristics of plants from centuries ago would be a scientific breakthrough.

Professor Bilgen stated that while his team was conducting an excavation in the district of Seyitömer in Kütahya, they found a container holding seeds, many of which were burned and useless. “However, three seeds we found were not damaged, and we have been carrying out research on these seeds for two years. Our attempts to germinate them had previously failed, but this year, one of the three seeds germinated. When the germination is complete, the plant will be presented to scientists for further analysis.”

Biologist Nüket Bingöl, also from Dumlupınar University, noted that it took three months for the seed to germinate. “We are at the beginning of our research. First, we need to determine the precise age of all three seeds. This needs to be proven despite them being found as part of the archaeological dig.” Bingöl said the plant seems to be similar to the lentil.

“At this point, we can say that the seed is a lentil seed, but it has some morphological differences from the lentil we have today. If the plant grows, we will be able to get very valuable information about the original lentil seed that is unchanged genetically. It will be the first real organic seed. It will not be of much financial benefit, but it will pave the way for further research,” she added.

Article Copyright: Feza Gazetecilik A.Ş.

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