THE OLDEST FRIEND OF THE HUMAN KIND FOR 39 THOUSAND YEARS: THE OLIVE TREE

THE OLIVE TREES AND THE OLIVE OIL HAVE BEEN REFERRED AS THE SYMBOLS OF ABUNDANCE, JUSTICE, HEALTH, VICTORY, WISDOM, MIND, AND PURIFICATION IN ALL OF THE HOLY BOOKS.

Olive trees, olives and olive oil have been known to the human history as the oldest plant and edible substances. While the olive takes its place as a remedy in all of the holy books, the olive oil that is made by pressing the olives is another blessing presented to the human kind.

The olive tree, known as the oldest friend of the human kind for 39 thousand years, has a very special place in history. There has never been a tree holier than the olive tree in the human history. All of the sacred books refer the olive tree as a symbol of abundance, justice, pride, health, victory, wealth, and common virtues and olive trees have always been grown as natural healers. The oldest data related to the olive trees is based on the finding of a thirty nine thousand year old olive tree fossil during the digs at Santorini Island in the Aegean Sea.

Olives used to go through long and difficult processes under the stone wheels centuries ago and used to turn into pomace, which has continued giving life to other plants as plant food ever since. The olive oil is used also to make soaps; thus helping people to sanitize themselves.

Source of youth and beauty
The native soil of olive trees is the Mediterranean region and the olive oil, which is known as the taste offering health around the world, is produced by pressing their fruits. The olives and the olive oil have an anti-aging effect on skin thanks to their rich vitamin E content. They are also known as remedies to heal scars. The Queen Cleopatra, the symbol of beauty for Egyptians, once owed her beauty to the olive oil, which she regularly put on her skin, is another myth…

Produced at modern facilities
The olives, which were grown in many regions of Turkey from the Marmara to the Mediterranean, used to be processed at the traditional local facilities and then the products were presented to consumers. The Adatepe Olive Oil Factory in Küçükkuyu, which has been turned into a museum, was one of those. The traditional olive oil factories have been turned into museums and modern facilities have been built to replace the old ones in parallel with the advancement of technologies over the years. The amphorae, the olive oil storage of the old times, have left their places to the olive oil tanks.

The legend of Noah
According to the legend of Noah, the God punishes the human kind by the big flood because the wickedness of human kind is great in earth. The flood wipes out all of the living things on earth. After the rain stops, Noah sends out a dove to check if the water is still high or not. The dove comes back because the water is still high. Seven days pass and Noah sends the dove out again but this time the dove comes back carrying an olive leaf; thus, Noah understands that the flood is over and the water is low. Ever since, the dove with an olive branch symbolizes the peace and hope, the olive tree, which has survived the juggernaut of the flood, symbolizes the immortality.   

Olive trees in the Greek mythology
In the Greek mythology, it is believed that the holiness of the olive tree comes from Minerva and Jupiter. According to the legend, Romus and Romulus, the legendary founders of Rome, were born under an olive tree as Apollo and Artemis were. In addition, Hercules was blamed to waste the olive oil, which was sacred to the Greek gods, by using it generously.