7. From approximately 1500 BC, a new source of purple dye was discovered and used by the sea-faring people of Phoenicia. From which source was it obtained?
From Quiz The Royal Purple
Answer: Sea snails
This dye first began to be made by the citizens of the cities of Sidon and Tyre, and the process to obtain same was long and difficult. It cost an enormous amount of time and effort to produce it, with an associated price, and the colour became known as Tyrian purple. Thousands of the little snails had to be first found and then removed from their shells. They were then soaked for a time before a minute gland was removed from each of their bodies. Following this, the glands were squashed and the few drops of juice obtained carefully kept until enough was obtained to fill a small container. When exposed to sunlight, this juice turned white, then yellow, green, violet and a deep red which was allowed to stay in the sun until it deepened into the required shade. When fabrics were dyed with this precious substance, the colour remained bright, lovely and long-lasting.