Presentation on theme: "Map of Ancient Greece The olive tree in Ancient Greece The Olive Tree is the oldest cultivated plant in the Mediterranean and it influenced the lives."— Presentation transcript:
The olive tree in Ancient Greece The Olive Tree is the oldest cultivated plant in the Mediterranean and it influenced the lives of the people economically, culturally and its society throughout the history of Greece.
THE MYTHOLGY OF THE OLIVE MYTH 1 It is said that the Olive Tree originated in Crete and was then taken Messenia by the Curettes. They were giant-like deities during the time of the birth of Zeus. They would clash their shields so that Cronos, Zeus’ father would not hear him crying. They were regarded as the benefactors of mankind as they introduced the olive to the people and brought it to Olympia crowning the fist winner in the Olympic games.
MYTH 2 MYTH 2 The olive tree was given to mankind by the Goddess Athena, who planted the first Olive Tree on the sacred rock at the side of the Acropolis. She won this right after beating the God Poseidon in a contest as to who will name the city of Athens. She gave the Athenians the Olive tree which gave them food, wood and oil. The tree is still found there but is small as it has been burnt a number of times, and yet it is strong enough to survive
MYTHS Many myths exist for the birth and evolution of the olive tree and olive oil but the one that is most believed is the one attributed to the Goddess Athena. Evidence of this is found on the AthanaPotnia Linear B Tablet from the palace of Knossos in Crete.
Olive oil and Health Olive oil was also used for medicinal purposes, perfumes and to lather the body before and after sports. Aristaeus, a physician used olive oil as a treatment for different ailments. He was the first to have the idea of crushing the olive so as to extract the oil from the flesh of the olive. The oil became precious and the people started to cultivated it widely. He traveled to Sardinia and Sicily where here he taught them about the oil and how to press it. It was the wild olive tree that was used for medicinal purposed and perfumes
ARCHILOGICAL EVIDENCE Olive oil was first cultivated in the Minoan times of 3rdC B.C. Cultivation spread between 2100 – 150 B.C. There is evidence of this on olive stones and lamps and by mid 2C is was widely used. Crete was a booming economy that traded the olive oil in the Aegean. At the same time olive oil started to be used in idolatry and ceremonial offerings to the Gods. Hydrias illustrate the offerings made to the deity.
Jewelry inspired by the olive tree the olive tree also inspire the jewelers of the time to design jewelry based on the Olive Tree. These were then given to the Gods, kings and queens.
Evidence of the existence of the olive press These pressing stones are evidence that the olive was indeed pressed all those years ago. Stone mills were found in Kommos, on the South coast of Irakliion and other parts of Greece. Olive Processing Stones Used Room Plan of Olive Press Room Two Rooms interlinked Jars that stored the oil
HARVESTING THE OIL The olive was harvested in a manner very similar to what we do today. The olives were picked up from the ground when they were ripe or they were knocked down using sticks onto cloths and then picked up and put into bags. There are three main steps to the harvesting of the olive: 1.Crushing the Fruit: here the fruit is pressed into a pulp and the stone would separate the oil from the water. 2.The separated oil was then collected in the grooves found on the sides of the stone and it then poured into the jars that collected the oil. 3.In these jars the oil would rest so that the constituents would separated from the pure oil by sinking to the bottom as they were heavier. 4.The pitcher had a tap near the bottom so that they would be able to remove the pure oil easily.