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Chinese archaeologists have inadvertently grown tomatoes from 2,000-year-old seeds they found in a bamboo tube buried in an ancient tomb in southwest China, according to a newspaper seen in Beijing on Tuesday.

The tomatoes were a different shape from their modern cousins but tasted the same, said the Aug. 18 edition of the Guangxi Daily received in Beijing.Archaeologists from the Chengdu Museum, in the southwest province of Sichuan, found the seeds in a bamboo tube in a tomb from the early Han dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.) and, to preserve the bamboo, they wrapped it in a damp cloth, the newspaper said.

To their surprise, a month later they found that 40 seeds had sprouted and handed over the young shoots to the Sichuan provincial agricultural research institute to grow.

They grew up to be the ancient equivalent of tomatoes, the newspaper said.