“In that forsaken fortress of Masada, a jar of Judean Date Palm Seeds was also left behind… and forgotten.”
This graphic novel presents the true story of the Judean Date Palms- famous in the ancient world for its sweet dates that, according to ancient folklore, had powerful medicinal purposes and could cure many diseases. The comic panels, framed by quotations, provide historical context for the extinction of this species of “miracle” date palms and the doctor and scientists whose professional efforts joined together to revive ancient seeds from various archaeological dig sites and grow them into living date palms that eventually bore fruit.
We don’t know if the fruit from these ancient Judean Date Palms have disease curing prowess that ancient texts reported them to have. While the seeds were discovered in 1963, the ancient date palms fruit only had its first harvest in 2020. It will take years of study to determine their health benefits. However, as many plants are facing extinction from climate changes and deforestation, it is worth celebrating the successful return of a lost species.
This short nonfiction graphic novel introduces readers to a bit of history and science in easily digestible comic panels perfect for mid to upper elementary school readers. A great choice all ages who enjoy visiting The Field Museum, The Chicago Botanic Garden or The Morton Arboretum.