Sparta, in the southern Pelopponese, lies in the heart of one of the principal olive producing areas in the Mediterranean region. The museum illustrates the significance of olives in many contexts, in nutrition, body care and medicine, in lighting, in religion and in art. Artefacts and inscribed clay tablets are evidence of its importance in Antiquity. The ground floor of the museum displays machines illustrating the development of olive oil production technology from early times, including animal-, water-, steam- and diesel-powered presses. Other displays illustrate the varied technologies employed in the manufacture of soap with olive oil.