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In Brittany, the Gauls exploited purple shells for luxury dyes

2024-02-27T17:44:57.121Z

Highlights: In Brittany, the Gauls exploited purple shells for luxury dyes. Systematic analyzes carried out after excavations on the small island of Hœdic in Morbihan have discovered significant production of a rare and very expensive dye, 2,250 years ago. “ It’s exceptional to excavate a coastal site in a systematic way,” explains archaeologist Catherine Dupont, who co-signed this discovery in a special issue of the journal Paléo, published in December 2023.


Systematic analyzes carried out after excavations on the small island of Hœdic in Morbihan have discovered significant production of a rare and very expensive dye, 2,250 years ago.


From Carnac to Croisic, the small island of Hœdic is visible on the horizon.

On one of the escarpments near its coasts, shells discarded by men reveal a forgotten history of the Atlantic coast.

Archaeological excavations, between 2004 and 2010, showed that the Gauls harvested salt there.

Further analysis of all the sediments reveals another activity.

Molluscs were exploited here by the millions, 2,250 years ago, over three centuries, to extract purple dye, a dye for textiles of inestimable value.

It’s exceptional to excavate a coastal site in a systematic way

,”

explains archaeologist Catherine Dupont, who co-signed this discovery in a special issue of the journal

Paléo

, published in December 2023. The CNRS research director studies ancient shells at the Creaah laboratory (research center in archaeology, archaeosciences, history) at the University of Rennes.

Sifting large volumes of sediment, more…

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Source: lefigaro

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