大约6000年前，橄榄很可能首先在地中海盆地驯化。据认为，来自橄榄油的油是可能使苦果足以引起其驯化的几种属性之一。但是，橄榄油的生产，也就是说，橄榄油的故意压榨目前已经记录在公元前2500年左右。在与制造石油相关的考古遗址中发现的文物包括碾磨石，倾析盆和储存容器，例如大量生产的带有橄榄植物残渣的双耳瓶。在整个地中海青铜时代的遗址中也发现了壁画和古代纸莎草形式的历史文献，并且在普林尼长老和维特鲁威的经典手稿中记录了橄榄油的生产技术和用途。将来自压制袋的液体吸入储存器中，使油沉降并分离。然后通过手工或使用钢包撇去油来抽出油;在水箱底部打开一个带塞的孔;或者让水从水库顶部的通道排出。在寒冷的天气里，加入一点盐来加速分离过程。分离油后，再次使油沉降在为此目的制成的桶中，然后再次分离。地中海罗马人和希腊人设计了几台橄榄压榨机来使压榨过程机械化，被称为各种trapetum，mola molearia，canallis et solea，torcular，prelum和tudicula。这些机器都很相似，并使用杠杆和配重来增加篮筐的压力，尽可能多地提取油。传统的压榨机可以从一吨橄榄中产生约200升油和450升阿米卡。使橄榄油参与（并且仍然存在）几个阶段的破碎和漂洗以提取油。橄榄是用手或从树上敲下果实来收获的。然后将橄榄洗涤并压碎以除去凹坑。将剩余的纸浆放入编织袋或篮子中;然后按下篮子本身。将热水倒在压制的袋子上以洗掉任何剩余的油，并洗掉纸浆的渣滓。橄榄油被用于各种目的，包括灯燃料，药用软膏和用于涂抹皇室，战士和其他人的仪式。在许多地中海宗教中使用的“弥赛亚”一词，意思是“受膏者”，也许（但当然不一定）指的是以橄榄油为基础的仪式。用橄榄油烹饪可能不是原始驯化者的目的，但它至少在公元前5至4世纪开始，正如柏拉图所描述的那样。
Olives were likely first domesticated in the Mediterranean basin some 6,000 years ago or so. It is thought that oil from the olive was one of several attributes that likely made the bitter fruit attractive enough to result in its domestication. However, the production of olive oil, that is to say, the deliberate pressing of oil out of olives is currently documented no earlier than ~2500 BC. Artifacts found at archaeological sites associated with making oil include milling stones, decantation basins and storage vessels such as mass-produced amphorae with olive plant residues. Historical documentation in the form of frescoes and ancient papyri have also been found at sites throughout the Mediterranean Bronze Age, and production techniques and uses of olive oil are recorded in the classical manuscripts of Pliny the Elder and Vitruvius. The liquid from the pressed bags was drawn into a reservoir where the oil was left to settle and separate. Then the oil was drawn off, by skimming the oil off by hand or with the use of a ladle; by opening a stoppered hole at the bottom of the reservoir tank; or by allowing the water to drain off from a channel at the top of the reservoir. In cold weather, a bit of salt was added to speed the separation process. After the oil was separated, the oil was again allowed to settle in vats made for that purpose, and then separated again. Several olive press machines were devised by the Mediterranean Romans and Greeks to mechanize the pressing process, and are called variously trapetum, mola molearia, canallis et solea, torcular, prelum, and tudicula. These machines were all similar and used levers and counterweights to increase the pressure on the baskets, to extract as much oil as possible. Traditional presses can generate about 200 liters of oil and 450 liters of amurca from one ton of olives. Making olive oil involved (and still does) several stages of crushing and rinsing to extract the oil. The olives were harvested by hand or by beating the fruit off the trees. The olives were then washed and crushed to remove the pits. The remaining pulp was placed into woven bags or baskets; the baskets themselves were then pressed. Hot water was poured over the pressed bags to wash out any remaining oil, and the dregs of the pulp was washed away. Olive oil was used for a variety of purposes, including lamp fuel, pharmaceutical ointment and in rituals for anointing royalty, warriors and others. The term “messiah”, used in many Mediterranean-based religions, means “the anointed one”, perhaps (but of course, not necessarily) referring to an olive oil-based ritual. Cooking with olive oil may not have been a purpose for the original domesticators, but it began at least as long ago as the 5th-4th century BC, as described by Plato.