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Distinguishing exploitation, domestication, cultivation and production: the olive in the third millennium Aegean

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Evi Margaritis*
Affiliation:
*Wiener Laboratory, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 54 Souidias Street, GR-106 76, Athens, Greece and STARC, Cyprus Institute, 2121 Nicosia, Cyprus (Email: evimargaritis@gmail.com)

Abstract

The author shows how better recovery techniques have allowed the early history of the Mediterranean olive to be rewritten. Small scale exploitation is detectable in the Neolithic, and is widespread by the Early Bronze Age. Users appear to be first attracted by the olive wood, the fruit benefitting from the pruning effect as the olive bush becomes a tree. This process eventually results in domestication—but this is an unintended consequence of a production process driven by demand. The story now aligns better with the model put forward in Colin Renfrew's thesis of 1972.

Type
Research
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd 2013

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