JTA NEWS
26 September 2018 - 17 Tishri 5779 - י"ז תשרי ה' אלפים תשע"ט
JTA NEWS :
“Out of the Blue” – Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem E-mail

A new exhibition has opened at the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, in honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary year, traces the thread of the mysterious blue colour, tekhelet, on its journey from the Mediterranean shores over 3,500 years ago through to the national colours of the State of Israel’s national flag.

Tekhelet and argaman, two precious colours have carried great significance for generations up to the present day. The sacred meaning of tekhelet took root in Jewish history when the Israelites were commanded to cover the Ark of the Covenant and Tabernacle utensils with tekhelet dyed cloths, and to tie tekhelet threads to the corners of their garments as a reminder of God and his commandments.

The Bible mentions tekhelet alongside another luxurious colour – argaman, the majestic purple, which was a prestigious colour of great importance in the ancient world and a symbol of royalty and nobility. With the decline of the blue and purple dye industry, the skill required to produce these dyes was lost and forgotten for centuries. In recent generations, interest in the colours has revived after researchers traced the source of both tekhelet and argaman to murex snails indigenous to the Mediterranean Sea.

Out of the Blue showcases unique archeological and historical items of profound cultural significance. The exhibition displays for the first time two-thousand-year-old tekhelet and argaman dyed fragments of textiles found in the caves of the Judean Desert and Masada.

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