The history of olive tree and olive oil begins around 6.000 years ago, somewhere in the eastern Mediterranean. Many theories exist about the exact origin of the olive tree and its cultivation. Among these theories, prevail those that claim that the olive tree was first cultivated in one of the countries: Israel, Syria, Mesopotamia or Greece and particularly Minoan Crete.
However, there is no doubt that the Minoans were those that helped spread olive tree cultivation across the Mediterranean Sea and they were the first to widely commercialize olive oil. The ancient Greeks owe a lot to olive oil as it played a fundamental role in the edge of their civilization and their wealth. Especially for Minoans, olive oil opened trade routes, which allowed them to dominate in the Mediterranean Sea for centuries.
This is perhaps the oldest olive tree that continues its production still today. It is situated in Vouves of Kissamos of western Crete. Scientists proved by using the tree ring analysis that his age is at least 2.000 years, while a newer study of the University of Crete, claims that its age reaches the 4.000 years.