History

The first evidence of cultivation for the picking of olives and the production of olive oil are directed to the isle of Crete, in the Mediterranean area, dating back to the years 5000 to 2500 B.C. But the first written records date back to 2500 B.C, where the minoic tablets demonstrate the importance that these trees and its products had in a world dominated by King Minos of Crete.

Van Gogh painting of the olive tree

In Ancient Egypt, olive oil was generally used for public lighting. The Nile Valley's fields were the home of the first mechanic procedures for the extraction of olive oil, which principles are still followed today around the world. Within the Egyptian civilization, olive oil was used in the kitchen and was very popular for therapeutical purposes, being on fashion at the time the olive oil bath. From the spiritual point of view, there are records of the use of crowns made of olive tree branches for the funerals, starting with the Pharaoh. The Phoenicians, consummate travellers, were the ones responsible for the dissemination of the olive tree along the coast of the Mediterranean sea, from 1600 B.C. This is how the trees got to the Greek islands, where some centuries later the Greek Civilization appeared, giving great importance to olive trees and its products.

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