Unguere to smear with oil
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Unguere : To Smear with Oil. Lori Kissell FLAVA October 04, 2013. Origin. Gift of Athena Symbol of Attica/Athens Never most important Attic crop and likely not primary export. Production and Uses. Production – growing -crushing -pressing -transporting Uses - -light -cooking

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Unguere : To Smear with Oil

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Unguere to smear with oil

Unguere: To Smear with Oil

Lori Kissell

FLAVA

October 04, 2013


Origin

Origin

  • Gift of Athena

  • Symbol of Attica/Athens

  • Never most important Attic crop and likely not primary export


Production and uses

Production and Uses

Production – growing

-crushing

-pressing

-transporting

Uses - -light

-cooking

-bodies

-ritual


Production

Production

  • Growing:

    • Lower slopes of Apennines

    • Spain

    • Southern Gaul

    • Greece

    • Asiatic provinces

    • coastal Tripolitania and Cyrenaica

    • African provinces


Production1

Production

  • Growing

    • Highly drought-resistant

    • Sensitive to frost

    • Usually crop every other year

    • Cuttings, ovules and grafts

    • Olives do not grow true to type from seeds

    • Table/oil varieties

    • Rarely mono-cultured


Production2

Production

  • Growing

    • Combined with pastoralism

    • Harvested in autumn/winter

    • Greeks and Romans liked “white” olives for oil


Production3

Production

  • Crushing

    • Packed in salt/saltwater first

    • Not edible raw

    • Crush first

    • Many devices known

    • Simplest – flat bed and stone roller, pestle, wooden sandals

    • Best is Roman trapetum


Production4

Production

  • Crushing

    • Don’t crush stones – add bitter taste

    • Luxury/quality oil removed stones first or minimal crushing of stones

    • Machines existed for stone removal, questionable effectiveness

    • Crushed olives moved to frails, then to presses


Production5

Production

  • Pressing

    • Simplest and most common press = beam

    • Weighted with rocks, human pulling

    • End fixed in wall as fulcrum

    • Weight pulled onto crushed olives in frails, pressing oil out


Production6

Production

  • Pressing

    -Improvements to beam press incl. winch, lever and drum, better anchoring

    -Screw 1st assisted, then replaced beam

    -Direct screw press replaced beam 1st C. CE

    -Possible because of screw, screw nut 3rd C BCE

    --Pliny, screw extracts more, risks bitterness


Production7

Production

  • Pressing

    • Separate oil and water

    • Romans ladle from top per Cato (Agr. 66) and Columella (Rust. 12.52-8-12)

    • Greeks more commonly use bottom spout method

    • Presscake remains, used for pig food and fertilizer


Production8

Production

  • Transporting

    • Most olives raised and consumed locally

    • Oil keeps better, and is traded

    • Luxury oils for quality, taste, added flavorings traded like vintage wine


Production9

Production

  • Transporting

    • Attica, Samos, Venafrum, Baetica, Cyrenaica all famous for oil

    • Stored and transported in large jars (dolia/pithoi)

    • Sold in amphorae

    • 2/3 sherds in Mt. Testaccio are olive oil amphorae

    • Peak in trade 140-165 CE


Unguere to smear with oil

Uses

  • Light

    • Lamps were pottery, bronze, gold, silver, iron, lead, ceramic

    • Single or multiple nozzle styles

    • Freestanding or suspended

    • Smokeless or minimal smoke


Unguere to smear with oil

Uses

  • Cooking

    • Roman recipes abound with olive oil

    • Dunk (morning) bread

    • Infuse with flavors – herbs? decadent?


Unguere to smear with oil

Uses

  • Bodies

    • Baths and strigils

    • Skin oils


Unguere to smear with oil

Uses

Bodies

  • Perfumes


Unguere to smear with oil

Uses

  • Bodies

    • Medicaments


Unguere to smear with oil

Uses

Ritual

-Oil from sacred trees (moriai) given as prizes in Panathenaic Games


Unguere to smear with oil

Uses

Ritual

-Libations


Unguere to smear with oil

Uses

  • Roman wedding

    • Anoint couple’s new door with oil-soaked wool


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