Thursday, 30 September 2021

Golden artifacts found on Minoan island dedicated to purple

A storehouse of ancient objects, including precious jewels and gold beads, was uncovered on an island near Crete in 2019. Chrysi, now uninhabited, was once devoted to making a precious purple dye from sea snails. The huge value placed on the rare purple dye supported a flourishing settlement between 3,800 and 3,500 years ago, during the Minoan civilization on Crete. The prosperity of the island settlement is not seen by the remains of its simple buildings, but by the high quality of the artifacts found.
Archaeologists have investigated the settlement on Chrysi since 2008, revealing various discoveries, including the remains of large carved stone tanks near the waterline on the beach. Researchers believe the tanks were used to farm the shellfish — a species of Murex called Hexaplex trunculus. The difficulty of making the dye led to it only being used by the elite, and it became known as "Royal purple." It was also known as "Tyrian purple," after the ancient Phoenican coastal city of Tyre which also produced it.
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