The Olive Tree Greatness

Olive Tree is a symbol of peace, wisdom, fertility, prosperity, health, luck, victory, stability and tranquillity. Moreover, the olive tree symbolizes the eternal link between man and the earth. No other tree in Greece has been praised, painted, sung as much as the olive tree. It is a tree that loves the sea and the Mediterranean sun, grows even on arid and rocky soils and survives under droughts and strong winds. It has accompanied the Greeks in times of both prosperity and deprivation and has left its imprint in every aspect of their cultural tradition.

Olive trees have existed longer than modern humans. Wild olive leaf fossils from the Greek island of Evia date back 23 million years. At Santorini, 37.000 to 50.000 year old leaf fossils from the olive species Olea europaea have been discovered in the volcanic crater. Humans began to use olive oil in the Middle Neolithic Period, as far back as 4.500 BC, according to traces in a bowl found in Gerani Cave in Rethymno, Crete. The olive oil traces found in Rethymno about 6.500 years ago imply that olive oil was already part of the Cretan diet then, and by 2000 BC the Cretans seem to have begun to exploit the tree systematically, producing olive oil as we know it today. During the time of Homer, the olive tree had already acquired a very important role in the daily life of Greeks. In Classical Athens, it was considered sacred, godsend, and it was protected by the state. The prosperity of Athens during the Golden Age was attributed, among