In ancient Crete, ancient Minoans kept their longevity secret in mystery attributed to their medicine as they used to call the olive oil.
The residents of Crete during the Minoan era evolved and systemized the pruning and vaccination of the olive tree. They worked on every possible way of taking care and developing the olive tree through great devotion and effort.
Harvest usually takes place around November or December making olive oil distinct for its dark green color and its outstanding fresh flavor.
Women and children were those who picked the olives from the tree bare handed separating them from the leaves. Men at the same time hit the higher branches with long wooden sticks, olives fell and then they gathered them into gunnysacks. This tradition is still alive in many villages to this very day.
To carry them they used donkeys, which were not only their means of transport but also their means of work in many cases at that time. The extraction of oil was by grinding in large millstones. The first cold pressing of the olive was followed by its exuding in a clay pot from where it was taken to fill goatskin bags.
Olives and olive oil
The olive tree and its oil played a significant role in every aspect of the Minoan era - everyday life, agriculture, economy, religion, art.
The whole culture was affected and built around the sacred tree and its valuable product and it still does until today.