origin & history
In Tunisia, the cultivation of olive trees dates back to thousands of years. The Phoenicians were the first to introduce this tree in North Africa.
Throughout history, several Mediterranean civilisations took turns with the cultivation of olive trees; Phoenician, Greek, Hebrew, Carthaginian, Roman and Arab. It was even before the foundation of Carthage by Queen Didon that the cultivation of olive trees had begun to develop around the Mediterranean basin. It dates back to 11th century B.C.
The excavations carried out in Sufeitla and in Thysdrus together with the Roman mosaics found in Sousse and in Utique witness that the cultivation of olive trees were widespread all over Tunisia since that time.
History also mentions that the Carthaginian General Hannibal, recalled back from Rome after the Second Punic War around the year 203 B.C., settled with his army on the Coast, in the Sahel region and ordered his soldiers to cultivate olive trees, so as to avoid idleness.