Citizens of the world can now enjoy a taste of Ancient Olympia, home to the Olympic Games, in the form of its olive oil.
The Hellenic Ministry of Tourism and Sports, along with the Office for the Promotion of Cultural Goods (ODAP), seeks to preserve a different aspect of the region. This collaboration will garner high-quality, Greek agricultural products from the archeological sites of Ilia—most notably, from the grounds of Ancient Olympia and Ancient Ilida.
This first harvest and olive oil product is part of a pilot program that will hopefully be extended well into the future. Ilia is known for its olive oil. In fact, the region produces approximately fifteen thousand tons of olive oil annually and Olympia has 260,000 acres of olive groves.
ODAP focuses on the connection between olive oil and the Ancient Olympic Games.
In antiquity, olive oil offered more than nutrition. It was a useful product with which athletes lubricated their bodies before going down to the track. In the future, ODAP plans to create special packaging for its olive oil in the shape of exact copies of ancient works.
The packaging will include information about the product, the historical period, as well as facts about the history of the Olympic Games.
Ancient Olympia Olive Oil is a Cultural Asset
“These products originate from the flora, which is located within the archeological sites, and which are interwoven with the mythology, history, religion, of the site itself or its wider area,” reads the ministry’s press release.
“The resulting product, apart from its inclusion in the agri-food chain, is also a cultural asset with a distinct identity and special characteristics,” it is said.
Home to the Olympic Flame lighting ceremony, Ancient Olympia will now produce even more tangible, cultural assets.
The olive oil, which has been aptly named “Χάρισμα Διός” (‘Gift of God’) will be sold at the archeological site’s museum gift shop. The sale of the divine substance began in the summer of 2021, and ODAP hopes to expand its sales through the National Archaeological Museum’s gift shop as well, which would certainly increase its reach.
Mediterre Eurofood SA, an olive oil production company headquartered in Ilia, will be sponsoring the packaging of “Charisma Dios.” Mediterre Eurofood’s decades of olive oil production experience bring with it all the quality control certificates, modern facilities, and equipment necessary for high-quality olive oil.
The bottling of olive oil from the archeological sites of Ancient Olympia and Ancient Ilida is only the initial action taken by ODAP in a pilot program that they hope to extend, not only into an annual production line but to more archeological sites of Greece to sell in more stores.
The Greek government is shifting its approach to preserving and showcasing Greek culture, as indicated when earlier this month, the government announced a partnership with Microsoft to digitally preserve Ancient Olympia online. Ancient Greece is moving into the 21st century, sustaining its relevancy and connecting with more and more people around the globe.