The Secret of Murex Purple

  The love of purple has revived the ancient dyes of Tunisia.
  After years of exploration, Tunisian Muhammad Garson Nuira finally cracked an ancient secret-the production method of Murex dye.
  Nuila is the head of a consulting company. He said: “At first, I didn’t know where to start. I crushed the entire Murex shell to understand how this small marine animal produced such a precious treasure. Color.” After constant experimentation, trial and error, and adapting to the stench in the process, he can now skillfully use a hammer and a small stone mortar to open the spiked murex shell, where the secret of murex purple is hidden— -A secret that is so closely guarded that it has been hidden from the world hundreds of years ago.
  | Expensive dyes|
  As a symbol of power and prestige, the prestigious purple was once the traditional color of royal dresses. Ali Delin, head of the research department of the Tunisian National Heritage Society, said that dye production was one of the main sources of wealth for the ancient Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and the Roman Empire. This industry is controlled by the monarch because it brings a lot of money to the royal vault.
  In August 2007, Nuira found a purplish-red snail shell on a beach in Tunisia, which reminded him of the knowledge about Murex purple he had taught in the school history class. So he bought a large number of snail shells from local fishermen and experimented in his father’s old kitchen.
  Nuila said: “Experts in dyeing, archaeology, history, and chemistry have given me help and encouragement, but no one knows this technology.” No historical documents have detailed the production method of this purple dye, Delin Said: “Perhaps because the craftsmen did not want to reveal the secret, or they were afraid to disclose it. After all, the production of purple dye was directly related to the emperor, and the emperor would not tolerate any competitors.”
  The only clue to discover this technology came from Archaeological sites and artifacts in the Mediterranean, especially Tyre in southern Lebanon and Meninx on the coast of Djerba in Tunisia. The Phoenicians from Tyre laid the foundation for the establishment of the Carthage Empire along the coast of Tunisia.
  This dye, also known as “Tyre Violet”, is still highly prized today. Throughout the world, there are only a handful of people who can produce it, including a German painter and a Japanese enthusiast. They all have their own secret skills.
  Among the buyers of dyes are collectors, artists and researchers. Some European merchants priced the dye at US$2,800 per gram, sometimes as high as US$4,000. Nuila said that he produced dozens of grams of pure and impurity-free purple dyes and sold them internationally at a lower price.
  | This is not a recipe! |
  At the beginning, when seeking help from other dye manufacturers in Nuila, a person told him straightforwardly: “This is not a cooking recipe that can be circulated at will.” He said: “This makes me more determined. I work harder for this. , Read widely.”
  From indigo to violet, Nuira keeps his collection of dyes in a wooden box, and he also meticulously keeps a 2009 dye sample. “This is a precious commemoration of my first success.” He said, “I continued to improve my methods until I found the right technique and mastered it from 2013 to 2014.”
  Nuila said, in order to obtain For one gram of impurity-free purple dye, he had to shell 100 kilograms of Murex, which took two weekends. He will clean the conch first and classify it by type and size, and then carefully crush the upper part of the snail shell to take out the glands, which will produce purple after oxidation.
  Nuila’s greatest wish is to see her works on display in Tunisian museums. He added: “Purple dyes have great tourism potential.” He also hopes to open related workshops, but he also regrets that the authorities lack interest in this craft. At the same time, he has been strictly guarding his business secrets and hopes to pass them on to his children. “I am very satisfied and proud to be able to bring something about our Carthage ancestors back to life.”