One of the most beneficial foods
Condidered a holy fruit from ancient Greece:
According to research, the olive tree first appeared in the third millennium BC. in the Middle East and then expanded to the Aegean islands and central Greece. Subsequent research conducted on the islands of Santorini and Nisyros, proved its existence thousands of years ago. is inextricably linked to the lives of the people of the Mediterranean. Historians make the Mediterranean basin the place where olive trees first appeared. The first cultivation of olive trees in the world took place in Greece and specifically in Crete. From ancient times it appears in the myths, in the performances and in the history of its peoples. The olive tree has always been a symbol of struggle, prosperity, peace, fertility and euphoria.
Holy fruit of the Greeks since antiquity.
Professor of Classical Archeology at the University of Thessaloniki P. Faklaris cites a series of elements that testify to the presence of the olive tree in Greece since the Neolithic era and prove the dominant importance they had for the Greeks olive oil, edible olives, wood and even the leaves of the tree. Examination of the archaeological data concerning the use and importance of the olive tree in antiquity confirms that it was one of the most useful and beloved trees of the Greeks, due to its sanctity, its economic importance and the various uses of its products in everyday and in religious life. Newer data that emerged from pollen analysis testify to its presence in Greece since the Neolithic era. But also the plates of Linear B 'from the archives of the palaces of Knossos, Pylos and Mycenae testify to its economic importance during the 14th and 13th c. e.g. In Knossos and Archanes, olive stones were found in pots, while in Zakros, whole olives with their flesh were found, dating to around 1450 BC. Olive stones were also found in the tombs of Messara, while in other parts of Crete olive presses of the Late Mycenaean II and III period (1450-1200 BC) were found. Olives are also depicted in works of art of this era. A fresco of the palace of Knossos of the 16th century. e.g. is a magnificent depiction of an olive grove, while the golden glasses from the Mycenaean tomb of Vafeios Laconia (16th century BC) are decorated with a representation of olive trees.
The olive tree, as the legend states, was the gift of the goddess Athena to the inhabitants of the city of Athens, who as a sign of gratitude gave the name of the goddess to their city and who also taught its cultivation. The well-known episode of the quarrel between Athena and Poseidon about the name of Athens is typical. In the Acropolis there was the sacred olive tree of Athena, the first olive tree that the goddess gave to the Greeks, and in the Academy the 12 sacred olive trees, the molecules, and the sacred olive grove from which came the oil that was given as a prize to the victors of Panathinaikos. Indicative of the importance of the olive for Athens is that the Athenians on their coins depicted Athena with an olive wreath on her helmet and an amphora with oil or an olive branch. Another tradition states that Hercules (whose bat was made of wild olive) brought an olive sprout from the country of the Far North (a mythical people that the Greeks believed lived beyond the North or according to another interpretation in the sky) and planted it in Olympia. The Olympians were crowned with the branches of Kotinos, this wild olive tree. The ivory statue of Zeus at Olympia, the work of Pheidias, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, was also crowned with olive branches.