Greek Olive Oil History

The Mediterranean territory is considered the mother country of olive trees. The alternations of the Mediterranean climate follow the growth, the blossoming, the setting-up and the maturing of the olive tree’s fruit.

It is no wonder then that the findings of palaeontologists suggest that the cultivation of olive trees started as far back as the 3rd millennium BC while domesticated olive tree cultivation is positioned at about 1700 BC in Greece based on archaeologists’ findings.

Greek culture, sovereign in the Mediterranean area is interwoven with the olive tree cultivation, in a long-living common path. In ancient Greece, in the island of Crete, the big number of earthenware, the huge amphorae, the numerous plates found in the cellars of the Cretan palaces give evidence of the outstanding position that the olive oil production held in the Minoan economy and society.

Furthermore, in the Greek mythology, the legend speaks of the olive tree, as the gift that goddess Pallas Athena gave the Athenians as a symbol of peace and progress, when they named their city after her. The cultivation of olive tree rose significantly during the Byzantine years. In 1821, the independent Greek state had a record of 2.300.000 olive trees! In this sense, the olive tree has always been one of the binding links of the chain which connects the ancient Greek world with Greece of now-a-days.