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The Judean date palm was once common in ancient Judea. The tree itself was a source of shelter, its fruit was ubiquitous in food, and its likeness was even engraved on money. But the plant became extinct around 500 A.D., and the prevalent palm was no more. But the plant is getting a second chance at life in the new millennium after researchers were able to resurrect ancient seeds.

Two thousand-year-old seeds were discovered inside a pottery jar during an archaeological excavation of Masada, a historic mountain fortress in southern Israel. It is believed the seeds were produced between 155 B.C. and 64 A.D. Those seeds sat inside a researcher's drawer in Tel Aviv for years, not doing anything.

Elaine Solowey, the Director of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura in Israel, wondered if she could revive the Judean Date Palm, so in 2005, she began to experiment. "I assumed the food in the seed would be no good after all that time. How could it be?" Solewey said.

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Science

The Last of the Moche Wave Riders

An eroding shoreline and oblivious tourists threaten a beloved local tradition that pre-dates the Incas.

Omar runs the Surf School Muchik with his brother in Huanchaco—a colorful beach town with a population of about 15,000 along northern Peru’s desert coast. Before the Incas came to dominance, this land was home to the Moche people from A.D. 100-800, then the Chimú until A.D. 1470. Huanchaco fishermen and surfers can trace their ancestral lines back to these cultures, and Omar is proud of his ancient surname, Huamanchumo.

In his classroom, he introduces new students, both foreign and Peruvian, to the principles of surfing—as well as the story of his family and the school. He explains that Huamanchumo was the name of a Chimú ruler and that Muchik is another name for Moche. (Though some academics suggest that the groups are distinct, locals consider the terms to be interchangeable.) And he delights in telling them that here in Huanchaco, they are in the birthplace of wave riding.

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Features

Digitally Reconstructing the Mosul Museum Destroyed by ISIS Fighters

A team in Cyprus is crowdsourcing data on the lost items to build 3D models of the ruined artifacts.

A 3D reconstruction of The Lion of Mosul.

Researchers from the Cyprus University of Technology are hoping they can digitally reconstruct Iraq’s Mosul Museum, which was ransacked by fighters for Da’esh (more commonly known as ISIS). Spearheaded by volunteers from the Initial Training Network for Digital Cultural Heritage, Project Mosul will crowdsource photos, images, and data for the artifacts and objects that were destroyed and process it all to create three-dimensional models of what was lost.

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Articles

Food for Thinkers: Traces of the Future

From dried fish bones in Qatar and early descriptions of the tomato in English cookbooks to the difficulty of reconstructing historical kitchens.


I admit it. I'm completely overwhelmed by the incredibly quality and quantity of posts written by so many of my favorite writers for Food for Thinkers week.

So, as I count down the last hours of the week (at least here in Los Angeles), here are a handful more tasty treats for your delectation.

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Articles

Food for Thinkers: An Online Festival of Food and Writing

Six days, 48 writers—from space archaeologists to music bloggers, plus everything in between—and one topic: what makes food so interesting?


As promised, all this week GOOD's new Food hub will be hosting a blog festival—a multi-site online conversation looking at food writing from as broad and unusual a variety of perspectives as possible. Over the next six days, more than 40 of my favorite writers—from science bloggers and human rights reporters to design critics and food columnists—will be sharing their perspectives on what makes food so interesting.

We're calling it "Food For Thinkers," and although most of the participants will be posting on their own sites, you can keep up with the entire conversation here at GOOD Food HQ, where I'll be hosting links, adding my own responses, and asking for your comments. We'll also be using the Twitter hashtag #foodforthinkers on @GOODFoodHQ, if you prefer to follow along that way.

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Articles