High in the White Mountains of Inyo County in eastern California, USA, grows an ancient bristlecone pine which might just possibly be the oldest living tree on earth. It is currently estimated to be 4,841 years old, which means that this extraordinary survivor of ancient times began to grow in 2827 BC.
This tree was already a living and growing organism 270 years before the Great Pyramid of Egypt was completed, 430 years before the first stones of Stonehenge were raised, 1500 years before the Trojan War, 2800 years before Julius Caesar lead his Roman army to Britain, and 3900 years before the Battle of Hastings – and for nearly 1000 years since then it has carried on patiently growing, clinging to its remote hillside, in a grove of its fellow ancient bristlecone pines.
It is known as ‘Methuselah’, named after the character who is the longest lived in the Bible. But that Methuselah only lived for a mere 969 years – less than a quarter as long!