Lichen dating method
In addition to Tyrian purple, the Phoenicians also made an indigo dye, extracted from a closely related species of marine snail.This color was known as royal blue or hyacinth purple.The anthraquinone derivatives kermesic acid, carminic acid, and laccaic acid are obtained by hot water extraction from the different Coccus insect species.The first of these dyes is orange-red in color, while the other two are red.They are soluble substances, though some become insoluble after they have been applied.They have a special affinity for the substrate they color.
The cloth was prized by the Romans, and used in the fine robes of kings and emperors.
Carmine (made from cochineal insects) is much more concentrated than the traditional red dyes of madder root, kermes, Polish cochineal and brazilwood.
It was in high demand throughout Europe, coloring the fabrics of royalty, nobility, and church leaders.
The most prized shade of Tyrian purple is thought to have been the product of a double-phased process.
Two different snail types were found near Tyre, both producing slightly different colors.