Mediterranean Basin — Human History

Intensive deforestation and agriculture has altered much of the Mediterranean Basin, such as this landscape in Pienza, Italy. Image credit: sherseydc

A long history of human impacts on the natural landscape over thousands of years has strongly affected the environments of this region and has accelerated over the past century.  Many Western cooking herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, tarragon, sage, and oregano, are native to the Mediterranean Basin.  Most of the modern grape varieties used for the production of fine wines and domestic olives also come from the region.