Brightly Dyed, 3,000-year Old Textiles From King David-era Found in Southern Israel

Fragments of woven woolen cloths discovered in copper mines in Timna are among oldest use of true plant dyes discovered in Middle East

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Microscopic magnification (x60) of woolen textile from Timna dyed in red and blue stripes (photo taken with Dino-Lite microscope),
Microscopic magnification (x60) of woolen textile from Timna dyed in red and blue stripes (photo taken with Dino-Lite microscope).Credit: Dr. Naama Sukenik, Israel Antiquities Authority
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
The Timna excavations site Credit: Erez Ben-Yosef, Tel Aviv University
Woolen textile from Timna decorated with stripes of red produced from dyers’ madder and blue made from a plant-based indigo that probably derived from woad.Credit: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority
Roots of the dyer’s madder used to produce the red pigment. Credit: Shahar Cohen, courtesy of Prof. Zohar Amar, Bar-Ilan University
Site 34 at Timna, previously named ‘Slaves Hill.' The new findings indicate that metalworkers operating at the site enjoyed a high social status.Credit: Erez Ben-Yosef, Tel Aviv Universit
The Timna excavation siteCredit: Erez Ben-Yosef, Tel Aviv University

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