Image by David Hodgson, via Flickr Commons
On the island of Crete, in the village of Vouves, stands an olive tree estimated to be 3,000 years old. Hearty and resilient, “the Olive Tree of Vouves” still bears fruit today. Because, yes, olives are apparently considered a fruit.
Archaeologist Ticia Verveer posted a picture of the tree on Twitter earlier this week and noted: It “stood here when Rome burned in AD64, and Pompeii was buried under a thick carpet of volcanic ash in AD79.” That all happened during the tree’s infancy alone.
An estimated 20,000 people now visit the tree each year. If you can’t swing a trip to Crete, you can take a virtual tour of the Olive Tree Museum of Vouves (it requires Flash) and see this 3D model of the tree.
Across the Mediterranean, you’ll find six other olive trees believed to be 2,000-3,000 years old–some of our last living ties to an ancient world. And beautiful ones at that.
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This is a great story, but I have a quibble. The writer says that the fire in Rome and the burying of Pompeii occurred during the tree’s infancy. Well, I guess some trees never grow up, but if this one is 3000 years old, it was almost 1000 when these events occurred.
Infancy is not relative, strange one. One’s 30s do not become their infancy if they reach 100.
Why wouldn’t an olive be a fruit?
Sorry, but what is “Flash”?. I have a MacBook using Safari. I was in Crete about 6 weeks ago, and never heard about this tree. I would have loved to see it or one of the others.
This olive tree was very young during the Punic Wars!
The Ancient Olive Tree in Palestine