Olive Exports In Ancient Greece

Market economy is largely considered a modern phenomenon. But, says a study from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, an integrated market economy existing in ancient Greece. By analysing sediment cores taken from six sites in southern Greece, an international team of researchers identified trends in cereal, olive, and vine pollen between 1000 BCE and 600 CE. They argue that pollen data from southern Greece reveals an export economy based on cash cropping as early as the Archaic period, primarily through olive cultivation. The research suggests an economic boom in the 1st and 2nd century CE, a decline in the 4th and 5th century, and a smaller boom in the 6th century. The pollen records, then, are a new source of quantitative data in ancient economic history.

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