Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


4 January 2011

“Murex” dye production at Troia: Assessment of Archaeomalacological Data from old and new excavations

Canan Çakirlar & Ralf Becks Studia Troica 18 (2009): 87-104.


This paper presents the archaeological evidence for ‘murex’ dye production at Troia and assesses the size and character of this industry at the site, based on archaeomalacological data from old and new excavations. The amalgamated data is compared with related evidence from other Bronze Age sites in the Mediterranean basin and considered in view of the requirements of a traditional ‘murex’ dye industry. Present evidence shows that the production of purple dye at the settlement began already during the Troia VIa phase and continued until Troia VIIa. Hexaplex trunculus was the chief species used as raw material. We suggest that this major industry, indicated by the scale of accumulated crushed H. trunculus remains in the archaeological deposits, is linked to the flourishing textile industry at the site, both tied to the increasing Minoan influence in the Middle Bronze Age Aegean.


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