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Olive trees at Gethsemane are among world’s oldest

October 25, 2012

A study conducted by the National Research Council of Italy Trees and Timber Institute has dated three of the olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane to 1092, 1166, and 1198. Another five olive trees could not be dated because their trunks are gnarled.

“Plants of greater age than our olives are not cited in the scientific literature,” said chief researcher professor Antonio Cimato. “Our olives are among the oldest broad-leaved trees in the world.”

“The question is not if these are the very trees, but if this is the place referred to in the Gospels,” said Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Franciscan Custodian of the Holy Land. “And it is the place, of that there is no doubt.”


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