A Cherry History

Cherries have been around since forever.  Cherry stones regularly appear at neolithic sites across Europe and the Middle East.  Back in those days of course they were all wild cherries.

The earliest mention of cultivating cherries comes from classical Greece.  It's in a book called Enquiry Into Plants by a chap named Theophrastus.  Theophrastus was a student of Aristotle (who was in turn taught by Plato, whose teacher was Socrates, who was taught by Diotima.)  This puts him about a hundred years after the time of Nico and Diotima.

It's clear from his text that cherry orchards have been around for some time.  The dating on the first cherry orchard can be bookended because cherries don't get a mention in Hesiod's book Works and Days.  Hesiod is more or less the same date as Homer, and Works and Days is like the archaic Greek version of The Dummy's Guide to Farming.  Cultivated cherries probably are a late archaic or a classical creation.

1 comment:

J Keith said...

I had no idea cherries were so epic. Cool post!