One of the main characteristics of Greece that is surrounded by water and lightened and warmed by good sun all-year round, is the presence of olive-trees. It is almost certain that olive-tree was self-planted at the Mediterranean countries since the time the first humans appeared in this area. Besides, this is something it can be evidenced by the remnants of all civilizations developed in the extensive area.
In ancient Greece, olive-tree was well known for its benefits and useful nesses as it arises from pot and wall paintings in Crete and mainland Greece. In the Greek mythology olive- tree is met as an extremely useful tree not only for its fruit but also for its wood.
We are aware of the myth that goddess Athena donated to the Athenians an olive-tree in order to win Poseidon and be elected as the protectors of the town. Therefore Athens took her name. The cultivation of olive-tree in ancient Greece began on Crete Island at about 3500 bC, but it was soon spread to the rest areas. Evidences, which prove that olive-trees were cultivated in ancient Greece for both eating and oil, which was also used as cosmetic, are found in Knosos, Santorini, and Mycenae as well as nearly in all Greek towns were a great civilization flourished in the antiquity.
During the years of the Roman empire the cultivation of olive-tree was spread in the rest Mediterranean countries (France, Spain, Portugal e.t.c.), while the first colonists of the new world carried olive-tree there. As a result, it is nowadays cultivated in many countries of Central America. At present, olive-tree continues to be one of the most useful trees due to its many benefits. Its fruit, olive is a unique delicacy in every table. Its oil, Olive oil is considered as the most rich and healthy plant oil and is recommended for nearly all diets. Its wood, olive wood is used in woodcarving and as firewood. Olive leaves are given to animals for food while it can be produces oil for special usage by olive’s pit.