In a message dated 5/4/01 11:40:50 PM, slavic@...
Y. << I do remember reading (in the context of Celtic clothing) that murex
is one of the more successful natural dyes on linen. I think that you
could get a purple-red from it.>>
S. That would explain the color. I have seen textiles dyed with murex, and
the 'royal purple' is NOT purple by our standards. It's a rich raspberry
color. Could the Scythians get murex purple? They had access to much Greek
stuff and plenty of gold to buy expensive things with if they wanted to.
Y. <<One thing to think about is if the Scythian outfit could have been
stained from being buried in something (did the exhibit say anything about
S. This warrior costume was
1. An accurate modern reproduction, not the original. Nothing was said about
2. Evenly colored (not splotchy as a stain might be) in a warm berry pink
(not a color likely to be a stain from natural burial influence such as rust,
3. Shown in a full page picture in the catalog, but not shown in the exhibit
in L.A., so I didn't get to see it in person.
Y. <<Another thing to consider would be if the method(s) for dyeing linen in
shades of red could have been "lost" and "refound" at various times during
Russia's history, perhaps making red linen not "period" for some times. >>
S. Dunno if the method got lost - but even if knowledge of the method was not
lost, if murex purple was used to dye the Scythian linen, it probably became
too rare and expensive for the larger and poorer population of later period
Russians to afford to use it.
Y. <<I'd love to hear more details on medieval Russian textiles,
S. Me, too! Anybody knowledgable out there who could continue this thread