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Only about twenty to thirty percent of the total land area of Greece was arable. The scarcity of level terrain ruled out the raising of cattle and horses on any large scale in most areas; pigs1, sheep2, and goats3 were the common livestock. The domestic chicken4 had also been introduced into Greece from the Near East by the seventh century B.C. Farmers mostly grew barley5, the cereal staple of the Greek diet6, with wine grapes7 and olives as the other most important crops. Wine diluted with water was the most common beverage of Greeks and drunk by almost everyone. Olive oil8 furnished a main source of fat in the diet, as well as serving many other uses such as a cleaning agent for bathing and a base for perfumes.

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