New Evidence of the Purple-Dye Industry at Tel Shiqmona, Israel

N. Sukenik, D. Iluz, Z. Amar, A. Varvak, S. Bar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pottery sherds stained with purple dye were found in the excavations at Tel Shiqmona, and were dated to the Iron Age II period. Analysis by HPLC-DAD identified the dye as ‘true purple’, derived from the Hexaplex trunculus sea snail, which is associated with the purple-dye industry that flourished in the coastal area at that time. This result is compatible with the classification of over 1000 Muricidae shells that were found in the excavation. Hexaplex trunculus constitutes 80% of this group, indicating that it was the most commonly used species in the dye production at Tel Shiqmona.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-785
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 University of Oxford


  • HPLC
  • Hexaplex Trunculus
  • Murex Shells
  • Purple
  • Tel Shiqmona
  • vat dyes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Archaeology


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