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Several types of olives at a market

The olive is the fruit of the olive tree (Olea europaea) and is an important part of the agriculture and culinary tradition of many countries in the Mediterranean region. [1]

It is unclear how long olives have been domesticated, but references to olives in the Iliad indicate that they have likely been farmed since at least around 800 to 900 BC. [2]


  1. http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/olive.html
  2. Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Le monde d'Homère, Perrin 2000, p19