Praising Biblical Blues

My friend, Professor James Tabor, has dug up the quarter of the ancient priests of Jerusalem…those who once served in the Jewish Temple that stood where the Dome of the Rock is now.

Along with colleague, Professor Shimon Gibson, he also found the largest number of murex shells ever excavated in Jerusalem. The murex was the source for the rich, purple/blue dye called “Tekhelet” by the Bible. The Torah commands Jews to wear a blue Tekhelet string among fringes at the corners of four-cornered garments. Until recently, the production of “Biblical blue” was a mystery. Now the secret has been reclaimed – it comes from the murex sea snail – and many have begun to wear the blue. Incidentally, in Roman times, only nobility was allowed to wear Biblical blue and this is probably where the term “blue blood” comes from. In Jerusalem, they just found the original shells which produced this mystical colour.

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Congratulations James and Shimon!

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/archaeology/1.730486

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