Photo: University of Haifa

Photo: University of Haifa

By Abigail Klein Leichman - July 15, 2019

The first biblical-era facility for producing prestigious purple-dyed textiles has been uncovered at Tel Shikmona, south of Haifa.

“Until now, there has not been any meaningful direct archeological evidence of workshops for the production of purple-colored textiles from the Iron Age – the biblical period – not even in Tyre and Sidon, which were the main Phoenician centers for the manufacture of purple dye,” said Prof. Ayelet Gilboa and PhD candidate Golan Shalvi from the University of Haifa.

They are studying the finds, which were uncovered between 1963 and 1977 by Dr. Yosef Elgavis on behalf of the Haifa Museum and were guarded in storerooms for the last half century.

“If we have identified our findings correctly, Tel Shikmona on the Carmel coast has just become one of the most unique archeological sites in the region.”

Tel Shikmona is situated on a small coastal promontory on the southern outskirts of Haifa. It’s part of a larger site that dates to the Iron Age biblical period of the judges, the United Monarchy (Saul, David and Solomon), and the kingdoms of Israel and Judea.

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