What Was Ancient Greece Agriculture?

Ancient Greece Agriculture: A Look at the Farming Practices of a Bygone Era

Agriculture played a crucial role in the development of ancient Greece. The land provided sustenance for its people and was the backbone of the economy. In this article, we will take a closer look at what ancient Greece agriculture entailed, including the crops that were grown, farming practices, and the tools that were used.

Crops Grown in Ancient Greece

The ancient Greeks grew a variety of crops depending on their geographical location and climate. Some of the most common crops included wheat, barley, olives, grapes, figs, and lentils.

Wheat was a staple crop and was used to make bread, which was a significant part of the Greek diet. Barley was also widely grown but was mostly used for feeding livestock.

Olives were essential to the Greek economy as they were used to make oil that was exported throughout the Mediterranean world. Grapes were grown mainly for making wine, which was also an important export commodity. Figs were another popular crop and were often dried for later use.

Farming Practices in Ancient Greece

Farming in ancient Greece was done mostly by small-scale farmers who worked their own land. The land was often passed down from generation to generation within families. The farmers used basic farming techniques such as plowing and sowing by hand.

Irrigation systems were also used to ensure that crops received enough water during dry seasons. One such system was called ‘kataskeuasmos,’ which involved diverting water from rivers or streams into channels that led to fields.

Tools Used in Ancient Greece Agriculture

The tools used in ancient Greece agriculture were simple but effective. Farmers used wooden plows with iron tips pulled by oxen or mules to till their fields. Handheld sickles made of bronze or iron were used for cutting wheat and other crops during harvest time.

Other tools included hoes for weeding, shovels for digging, and baskets for collecting crops. Most of these tools were made by the farmers themselves or by local blacksmiths.


In conclusion, ancient Greece agriculture was a vital part of the economy and daily life of its people. The crops grown provided food, drink, and essential commodities for trade.

Farming practices were basic but effective, and the tools used were simple yet efficient. By understanding ancient Greece agriculture, we can gain insight into the daily lives of those who came before us and appreciate their contributions to our modern society.