“Coat of Many Colors”

Evidence for the Dyes in Textiles Dating to David and Solomon's Era with Dr. Naama SukenikOctober 29, 2024
“Coat of Many Colors”: Evidence for the Dyes in Textiles Dating to David and Solomon's Era with Dr. Naama Sukenik

Join us and our guest speaker from the Israel Antiquities Authority, Dr. Naama Sukenik, to hear about the latest discoveries of dyed fabrics dating to the time of Kings David and Solomon.

Among the ancient dyes used in the ancient world, the most precious were produced from animal sources. Scarlet dye was produced from various insects that yielded a beautiful red color, while murex snails from the sea were used to create royal purple and blue dyes. These three colors are mentioned together in the Bible—tekhelet (blue), argaman (purple), and tola’at shani (scarlet)—in the context of expensive garments and other important ritual artifacts. The difficulty in collecting these animals, the complex dyeing process, the resulting beautiful colors, and their resistance to fading made them highly desirable.

In this lecture, we will present rare textiles dyed with these expensive materials. We will present the earliest known scarlet textile in the world, dating back to the Middle Bronze Age, recently discovered in a cave in the Judean Desert, as well as three small textile fragments dyed with murex snails uncovered in the copper smelting camps of Timna dating to the time of Kings David and Solomon. These rare findings provide an exceptional glimpse into life in biblical times and help us answer questions about the fashion of the elites in ancient Israel.

Ticketing coming soon.

Oct 29, 2024 - Oct 29, 2024
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM EDT
Museum of the Bible and Zoom
On-Site General Audience $14.99
On-Site Members and Students $9.99
Virtual General Audience $9.99
Virtual Members and Students $4.99
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These rare findings provide an exceptional glimpse into life in biblical times.

Speaker

Dr. Naama Sukenik

Dr. Naama Sukenik is the curator of the Organic Material Collection for the Israel Antiquities Authority, specializing in Organic Materials’ Dyes—specifically textiles, basketry, and leather. Dr. Sukenik received her BA from Bar-Ilan University where she studied archaeology and biology. She also received her MA and PhD from Bar-Ilan University, both in archaeology. She has served as a curator for the IAA since 2013 where she has published articles such as “Yellow Dyes in Archaeological Textiles: Sources, Locations, Identification, and Challenges” and “Identification of Dyes in Yotvata Textiles.” 

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