Like Israel, source of blue dye for garments makes comeback
The mysterious source of an ancient blue dye used by the children of Israel on garments, at the command of God through Moses, has been found after 2,000 years.
An Israeli researcher says she has identified fabric that may contain a mysterious blue dye described in the Bible, one of the few remnants of the ancient color ever found.
Naama Sukenik of Israel’s Antiquities Authority said Tuesday that recent examination of a small woolen textile discovered in the 1950s found that the textile was colored with a dye from the Murex trunculus, a snail researchers believe was the source of the biblical blue or purple.
Researchers and rabbis have long searched for the enigmatic color, called tekhelet in Hebrew. The Bible commands Jews to wear a blue fringe on their garments, but the dye was lost after the dispersion of the Jews from the land in the first century.
Sukenik examined the textile for a doctorate at Bar-Ilan University and published the finding at a Jerusalem conference Monday.