The olive tree and its fruits have ancient roots in the history of man and have played an important part in ancient civilizations. . Olive oil is the oldest alimentary oil after sesame oil. In ancient times, olive oil was used as food, as a medicinal product and in religious ceremonies. It is hard to determine the exact place where the olive tree first appeared, but it is thought that it was in the Mediterranean basin. Olive oil history and its cultivation started on these coasts more than 6,000 years ago and it was immediately used as food (olive fruit) and with medicinal purposes (the oil which they extracted using rudimentary methods).
The cultivation of olives and the production of olive oil have deep roots also in
the history of Spain.The olive tree was brought to the Iberian Peninsula by the Phoenicians and the Greeks. Olive cultivation was expanded considerably by the Romans, who also improved the techniques of oil production. Olive oil from Hispania was highly regarded by the inhabitants
of Old Rome, as well as by the rest of the Roman Empire, that considered it of superior quality.