In the Cala di Massoliveri (Syracuse, Italy), the southern rocky coast is hollowed out by over fifty artificial circular holes of various depths, some of which very large. In this context we can recognize a factory, presumably ancient, whose destination and functioning are so far unknown: in the past, funerary purposes, preservation of foodstuffs or lime production are proposed. These hypotheses however not convince. We propose instead a function, still not considered, of extraction of the purple dye: with some types of tub used to keep the purple shells alive, others to macerate them and heat the slurry to be filtered; as well as perhaps to purple dye the wool in place, using as mordant, instead of the alum, the sulfuric acid extracted from the processing waste of the murex molluscs.
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