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Title: The olive tree in the Mediterranean basin : origin and history
Authors: Bugeja, Ivan
Keywords: Olive -- Mediterranean Region
Olive oil -- Mediterranean Region
Olive -- Malta
Olive oil -- Malta
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: The primary objective of this dissertation is to examine and explore the tight relationship that existed since thousands of years between the Olea europaea (Olive tree) and the different cultures of Mediterranean region. This relationship initiated during the Early Neolithic Period and continued to flourish and prosper through the ages, although the Mediterranean was conquered by different civilizations and cultures. The olive tree is synonyms to the Mediterranean region since it grows naturally. The Mediterranean Basin offers optimal climatic conditions for its cultivation and as a result the Olea europaea was placed at the heart of the Mediterranean. Witness of this importance are the numerous stone olive presses and crushers that were discovered in almost all the regions of the Mediterranean. The presence of the Olea europaea has marked both the landscape of the entire Mediterranean region and the different cultures and the people of Mediterranean. The tree is “mythical and sacred” and is deeply associated with the traditions of the Mediterranean. The Olea europaea has influenced the life of the people of the region in such a way that an "olive tree civilisation" was created. In the Maltese Islands the olive tree was introduced by the Phoenician seafarers in the 1st millenium B.C. and the cultivation extended its great importance during the Roman Period, when the olive industry became very important to the Mediterranean and the Maltese Islands. Evidence of the importance of the olive tree and olive oil in ancient times is shown in local village names such as Żejtun, Ħaż-Zebbuġ and Birżebbuġa. The findings of this dissertation also demostrate that in recent years the cultivation of the olive tree and the production of olive oil has grown remarkably, as a result of modern techniques in both the cultivation of the Olea europaea and in the production of olive oil. Ongoing investigations and trails, together with the revitalisation of old Olea europaea cultivars and varieties are developing and remodeling the olive industry both in the Mediterranean and the Maltese Islands.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - InsES - 2016
Dissertations - InsESRSF - 2016

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