Sunday, 11 January 2015

Odds and Ends (last one)

So I personally think an art project based on the colours and white would be just about the coolest thing EVAR. Plus I could write a major best selling book documenting the process, which would also be my dissertation in being a not-pastor.  Then I could stop battleaxing and just retire to a life of self-agrandizement, which is basically what artists have to do to get noticed these days. Unfortunately the thing keeping me from it is that a murex vat would cost about 60 grand to make. Major sad.

Anyway I asked mem if I should put historic references into the post because the arguments rely on history a lot. I hate putting references into a text because they distract from the thought flow, but I did write it so that most of it could be referenced pretty easily if I had to. So these are some of the sources I used (referencing process is harder since I don't know how I know things I learned 15-17 years ago anymore). Rey asked for the references so I'm finally getting this post out.

The cool thing about the subject is that it intersects with many nerdly pursuits: theology, biblical studies, chemistry, ancient history, textiles, archaeology, zoology and so on. Which in my opinion makes it super cool and awesome, but I know from the way most people's eyes glaze over that they don't always agree. If you're not one of the normal people, here is a bit of a list to make it easier for my fellow nerdlings to research. Consider this my bibliography :).

PS I don't even know which citation style to use because there are a lot of different disciplines. And I hate that crap, having gotten a 37% in apa (mla was better). So I'm adding by author, year, article, book or journal, (publisher) for the most part. Or if Rey complains, I'll just edit and make them links.

Barber, E.W. 1995. Women's work: The first 20,000 years. Women, cloth, and society in early times (W W Norton).
This book is easy to read and discusses the development of textile processes from the most ancient times to about 500 bc.

Cardon, D. 2007. Natural dyes (Archetype books). 
This is THE BIBLE of natural dyes. Waaaannnttt 

Guckelsberger, M. 2013. Purple murex dye in antiquity. I can't understand the citation cause it's all something not English and I'm a barbarian :( It's on This one has a lot of the ancient sources mentioning dyes, Including Pliny the Elder. 

Whiston, W (translator). 2009.  The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem of Flavius Josephus (Project Gutenberg). 
He discusses the colours as symbolic of the universe in Book V chapter 5, section 4.

Koren, Z.C. 2005. The First Optimal All-Murex All-Natural Purple Dyeing in the Eastern Mediterranean in a Millennium and a Half, Dyes in History and Archaeology 20, pp. 136– 149 (Archetype Publications).
 A lot of Koren's research can be found at Definitely some cool stuff there. He seems to have done a lot of work advancing Isaac Herzog's contention that tekhelet is molluscan. Also he properly reduced the freakin murex vat unlike some others. That makes him WAY more credible.

Additionally on tekhelet there is the P'til Tekhelet foundation at (This where I got the picture of the blue murex dyed fragment and references to the Babylonian Talmud).

Orna, M. V. 2013 Chemical history of colour (Springer). 
This book discusses all the early pigments and dyes, as well as how we see colour and produce dyes. Also a discussion on the rise of the modern dye industry and its relation to medicine and industry. 

Ruscillo, D. 2002. Reconstructing Murex Royal Purple and Biblical Blue in the Aegean, Archaeomalacology: Molluscs in former environments of human behaviour pp 99-106 (Oxbow Books).
More on producing purple and blue. The repeated discussion of the stank made me lawl. Mem would probably relate this to whenever he is talking about Rey.

Also, besides the murex blue, I got the picture of the murex robe from this site.

I've had the picture of the kermes-dyed mantle for a long time because Alexander McQueen used it in one of his designs as part of his final show, and as you all know I'm waiting for God to miraculously make me that good at sewing so I can copy it. So I'm not sure where I got that particular picture from but it is a pretty famous textile.

I also used bible gateway and the blue letter bible for the references, concordance and words. Usually for things like this I look at the NASB. Heavy on the end of Exodus, also Isaiah 1 and 4 and Ezekiel 44.

One of the things I left out entirely was the contrast between clothing and nakedness in scripture. There is a link, especially in Hosea and Ezekiel, but it just didn't fit and probably would have been another thousand words long. But it is a fun study of its own. 

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