Olive cultivation in Ancient Times

By examining archeological evidence that are related to the symbolism and the usage of the olive tree in ancient times  it is confirmed that it was one of the most useful and beloved trees of the Greeks, because of its sacredness, its  financial value and the multiple uses of  its products in rituals and everyday life.

There used to be a mistaken theory that the olive tree production was transported to Greece from Palestine.  But new evidence that came to light from analyzing pollen shows the olive tree’s presence in the Hellenic region since the stone age. I was also attested that its systematic cultivation was taking place during the Mycenaean period in different place throughout the country.

Also Linear B’ scripts from the archives of the palace of Knossos, Pylos and Mycenae reveal its financial value during the 14th and 13th century B.C. In Knossos and Acharnae they found olive pits in urns and in Zakro they found olive fruit preserved whole dated around 1450 B.C.

Olive pits were discovered in ancient graves in Messara and in multiple spots in Crete olive presses from the late Mycenaean period were brought to light.

Olive trees are depicted in artifacts of that period. A mural from the palace of Knossos dating at 16th century B.C. stands as an exceptional depiction of an olive tree orchid, also the gold cups that were unearthed from the Laconian grave in Vafio (16th century B.C) are ornamented with a depiction of olive trees.