The Olive Tree

An Olive tree is a live witness of a secular heritage, carrying flavour of the most antique civilizations. These trees play an important role in the Mediterranean economy, namely Portugal, Spain, Greece and Italy, and were a constant over the years in every culture along the Mediterranean Coast.

Roman slave picking olives

Several are the references made to olive trees in the Bible showing that they were very important for the Hebreus, both economically and spiritually. However, the origin of olive trees seams to have been in the Middle East with references that date back 6.000 years. There is no agreement between researchers on the exact origin of the species: some historians point at Persia, others turn to the Valley of Nile River, while some support the idea of the Jordan Valley area. Therefore, most researchers think that the possible location was between rivers Tigers and Euphrates, which through time was the home of several ancient civilizations as the Sumerian, Mesopotamian, Assyrian and Arabian, today the heart of Iraq.

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© Ecossistemas, 2006