Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dyed textiles from Solomonic-era Timna

ARCHAEOLOGY: ARCHEOLOGISTS FIND EVIDENCE OF PLANT DYES FOR CLOTHING DATING TO SOLOMON. Joint study concludes 3,000-year-old dyed textiles found in Timna Valley used by ‘fashion elite’ (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post).
According to the authority, the excavations, directed by [Dr. Erez] Ben-Yosef, recovered dozens of fragments of 3,000-year-old textiles, which were preserved due to the region’s extremely arid climatic conditions.

“The textiles date to King Solomon’s reign, in the Iron Age [11th-10th centuries BCE]*, and some are decorated with a red-and-blue bands pattern,” he said. “These are the earliest examples to have been found in the country and in the Levant [the eastern Mediterranean] of the remains of plant-based dyes.”
I am keeping an eye on the Timna Valley excavation. It is one of the few sites in Israel that has a dry enough climate to preserve organic remains for 3,000 years. So far they have found animal dung and textiles. The textiles are fragmentary, but survive well enough to preserve some of the colored dye on the fabric. This is an environment in which inscribed papyrus documents and parchment scrolls could conceivably survive. They haven't found any inscribed materials yet, but it is possible they are there. Keep digging!

Background here, here, and here.

*The second bracketed phrase is in the original paragraph.

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