Long-revered as a perfect plant, providing beauty, fruit and essential oil, the olive tree is believed to have existed for more than 5,000 years old. The French describe it as "L'arbre roi" - the regal tree. In Spain they have a saying, "Aceite de oliva, todo mal quita" - olive oil makes all pain go away. In mythology, the tree was Athena's gift to the city of Athens, making her their patron goddess. Even the Bible carries numerous references to the olive tree, including the dove with the olive branch that signaled the end of the great flood to Noah.
Olive trees do not have rings to determine their age, but scholars estimate their age to one and two thousand years old.
Through carbon dating, archeologists have established the presence of olive trees on the Island of Crete before 2500 B.C.
The systematic cultivation of olive trees started in the Stone and Bronze Age.
The oldest olive tree is 5,000 years old in Kolymvari, Chania.
The Romans cut down all the olive trees in their siege of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
In the ancient Olympic Games, winners were given olive wreaths as trophies.
In mythology, the olive tree was Athena's gift to the city of Athens, and she was chosen as their patron goddess.
The island of Corfu has more than three million olive trees, covering one third of the Island.
The Mediterranean region produces 99% of the world's olive oil.
The "Mission" olive tree was found growing in the old Spanish missions in California more than 200 years ago.