Amurca is the bitter-tasting, dark-colored, watery sediment that settles out of unfiltered olive oil over time. It is also known as "olive oil lees" in English and Turtub in Jordan. Historically, amurca was used for numerous purposes, as first described by Cato the Elder in De Agri Cultura, and later by Pliny the Elder. Cato mentions its uses as a building material (128), pesticide (91, 92, 96, 98), herbicide (91, 129), dietary supplement for oxen (103) and trees (36, 93), food preservative (99, 101), as a maintenance product for leather (97), bronze vessel (98), and vases (100), and as a treatment for firewood in order to avoid smoke (130). It has even been used as an astringent, which was called by the same name.
- Janakat, Sana M.; Fwzieh Hammad (January 23, 2013). "Chemical Composition of Amurca Generated from Jordanian Olive Oil" (PDF). J Nutr Food Sci 3 (2): 186. doi:10.4172/2155-9600.1000186. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- Pliny, John Bostock; Henry Thomas Riley (1856). The Natural History of Pliny: Amurca of Olives - Twenty-one Remedies. p. 486.
- More information on ancient uses
- Cato the Elder on Agriculture
- Olives in Antiquity (Smith's Dictionary, 1875)
- Forerunners of Pesticides in Classical Greece and Rome[dead link]
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chambers, Ephraim, ed. (1728). "article name needed". Cyclopædia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (first ed.). James and John Knapton, et al.
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