Carbon is present as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and dissolved in all natural waters.
It is a component of rocks as carbonates of calcium (limestone), magnesium, and iron.
"The Jews all committed suicide rather than give in to the Romans, and the Romans pretty much destroyed the site after that.
It was more or less left for the next 2,000 years." The seeds were excavated about 40 years ago, along with skeletons of those who died during the siege.
When plants and animals die, much of their carbon is returned to the atmosphere as the organisms decompose.
"When I heard there were ancient seeds found in the archeological dig, I thought it would be interesting to see if we could try to grow them." Carbon dating of the seeds found at Masada revealed that they date from roughly the time of the ancient fortress' siege, in A. "They were buried under mounds of debris on the top of the archaeological site of Masada," Sallon told .
Scientists have grown a tree from what may be the oldest seed ever germinated.
The new sapling was sprouted from a 2,000-year-old date palm excavated in Masada, the site of a cliff-side fortress in Israel where ancient Jews are said to have killed themselves to avoid capture by Roman invaders.
Instead of returning to the atmosphere, the carbon from these lifeforms is trapped within the Earth.
Over millions of years, more and more of the carbon on Earth has been trapped in this manner.