The history of the olive is a long one, dating back to Biblical times. The olive branch was the symbol shown by God to Noah to indicate the end of the flood.
According to Greek mythology, the olive tree was a gift from the goddess Athena to the people of Athens.
In fact, olive trees were cultivated in Crete and Assyria over 5000 years ago. And the olive itself has been eaten and enjoyed by all the peoples of the region for thousands of years.
Throughout the Mediterranean, the olive has always been highly valued; olive oil was used as fuel; as a preservative; as an analgesic; and as a perfume. Olive wood was used for construction and decoration.
Source: Guide To Olives