The history of olive oil in Tunisia

carthage olive oil: Historiy

Historic oil olive

The culture of olive trees in Tunisia dates from the eighth century BC, even before the foundation of Carthage by Queen Dido. The Phoenicians were the pioneers of olive cultivation in North Africa.

In Tunisia, the direct heir of ancient Carthage, the Carthaginians began to plant olive trees throughout their territory in the island of Cyraunis (now Kerkena), Cape good in Bysacium and especially around ‘Hadrumète (Sousse).

A true olive cultivation began to spread following benefits to farmers who created plum.

The Romans developed the more olive culture by increasing irrigation on this land rainfall low, the technique of oil extraction as evidenced by excavations Sbeïtla and El Jem and the many Roman mosaics discoveries in Sousse.
The Andalusian Arabs settled in Tunisia advantage of the facilities offered at the time to acquire farms and cultivate olives.
Since the Phoenicians and through all the civilizations that have marked the history of Tunisia (Phoenician, Greek, Carthaginian, Roman and Arabic) olive oil occupied an important place in the economy.

Moulin kalaa Kbira

The desire of the Roman emperors to transform Africa into a growing area of Olive Oil, appears in the enactment of laws encouraging the creation of olive groves and provide benefits for farmers who created plum on wasteland or replaced the old plantations with new ones.
In the Middle Ages, the olive tree covered lands of the Sahel.

Presse à vapeur

In short, trade in olive oil remained under all civilizations that have marked the history of Tunisia a source of wealth.

Olive oil was the source of considerable wealth and ancient Islamic cities in Tunisia.

For proof, just read this story that recounts the Arab geographer and historian Ibn Abdelhakem in 647, the Arab army that defeated Patrice Gregory to Sufetula (Sbeïtla), the townspeople brought pieces of gold at the feet of the conquering general.

This one had the curiosity to inquire whence came so much wealth and one of them began to go from side to side as if looking for something. Having found an olive, he brought it to Abdullah and said “it is with this that we buy money.”

carthage olive oil: Historiy