The Ancients

Origins of Olive Oil

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Episode notes

When you think of inventions that helped change the course of history, it's doubtful Olive Oil makes the list. Originating thousands of years ago in Persia or Mesopotamia - it's now probably in your kitchen cupboards, or donning the shelves of supermarkets. But how did Olive Oil come to be, and how did the processes behind making it help advance numerous civilisations?

In this episode Tristan welcomes Curator of the British Museum's Ancient Levant and Anatolia department, Jamie Fraser, to talk about his work in Jordan and the incredible archaeological discoveries he and his team found. Looking at early Olive Oil production presses, monumental archaeology discoveries, and the impact this had on ancient civilisations - what can we learn about the origins of Olive Oil, and why is it so important in ancient history?

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