A 3,000 year old olive tree still bears fruit

Thanks to the method of dating by luminescence, the scientists found the time to plant ancient olive trees with trunk circumference up to 12.5 m.

Thanks to the method of dating by luminescence, the scientists found the time to plant ancient olive trees with trunk circumference up to 12.5m .

Olive tree Ata Ağaç , meaning "old", planted in the land that used to be a Roman cemetery, now belongs to the olive garden in Muğla's Milas, western Turkey, Newsweek reported on November 5. The circumference of the trunk is 12.5m, equivalent to the oldest olive tree in the world today . Ata Ağaç grows on Crete, Greece, lived about 3,000 - 4,000 years.

Picture 1 of A 3,000 year old olive tree still bears fruit Photo 1 of A 3,000 year old olive tree still bears fruit
The scientists collected soil samples from roots to determine the age of olive trees.(Photo: Daily Sabah).

Dating ancient olive trees is difficult because most of them are hollow on the trunk, according to ATA Agac, the company that manages the olive garden."For some trees, carbon 14 is taken from the middle of the trunk for analysis. If there were no wood samples taken from the first age circle formed between the trunks, the carbon 14 dating method would be inaccurate. In short, This method is not suitable for olive age determination , "ATA Agac said.

Instead, the team at Ankara University took soil samples from the roots and used photoluminescence dating. This method measures the photon energy emitted by an object, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

When stimulated, the amount of radiation absorbed and previously stored by the object can be released as fluorescence. From here, scientists will find out the nearest time this object is exposed to sunlight. The longer the time you are not exposed to sunlight, the stronger the luminescence signal.

"We need to determine when the soil sample was last exposed to sunlight. We collected samples from seven different roots and discovered that this olive tree was planted 3,000 years ago," said Professor Niyazi Meriç. , who led the study, said.

Ata Ağaç continues to harvest fruits. These fruits are used to produce olive oil. ATA Agac said there are many ancient olive trees in Turkey. The company is preparing a project to realize their importance.

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