Ancient tekhelet dye found near Dead Sea
Tekhelet was used in ancient times to dye the tassels, or tzitzit, attached to honor list. The four-cornered garment traditionally worn by men and the High Priest.In a rare discovery, scientists have confirmed that an almost 2,000-year-old piece of fabric found near the Dead Sea contains remnants of the Biblical blue color known as tekhelet, haaretz.com has reported.
It is only the third piece of fabric ever found to contain this precious blue dye derived from snail glands. In accordance with a Torah commandment, tekhelet was used in ancient times to dye the tassels, or tzitzit, attached to the four-cornered garment traditionally worn by men, as well as the clothing worn by the High Priest during the days of the temple.
The finding was revealed on Dec. 30 in Jerusalem. To this day, scientists and scholars have not reached a consensus on whether tekhelet was a light sky-blue color, as most modern day experts on the subject now believe, or a darker, more purple-hued blue. The shade discovered on the piece of fabric tested by Sukenik was sky blue. The tassels on the fragment were spun in a way that was common in Israel in ancient times.