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Olive cultivation was boosted in Greece and highly regarded. The Greek and Phoenicians took up olive trees and olive oil throughout the Mediterranean; they brought olive oil extraction techniques they had improved for 3000 years. For instance, in Athens, the olive tree was the symbol of the city and its sacred tree. The Phoenicians were the ones who brought cultivation techniques to Spain around 1050 B.C. Some years later, the Greek followed up. Undoubtedly, the legacy of the Phoenician and Greek is important, but it was the Romans who managed to plant olive trees throughout the Peninsula. Emperor Adriano even minted coins with an olive branch and an inscription that stated “Hispania”. The Romans improved cultivation techniques as well as elaboration methods, for Rome was a great oil importer.

Later on, the Arab increased olive tree cultivation until the fall of the Arab Empire, which reduced Africa’s consumption of olive oil. In the middle ages, the war was the only thing that made the world spin around; therefore, olive oil was consigned to a wealthy social status. Olive oil was rated as a luxury item. With Cristobal Colon’s arrival to America in 1492, Andalucía and Extremadura contributed to create plantations in Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Mexico. Nowadays, olive trees are present in California, Chile, and in other areas of South America. Although, there are olive trees all over the world, it is the Mediterranean area where we have the highest concentration of olive plantations. Spain is the country with the highest concentration of olive plantations and number one olive oil producer.

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