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Category: 14 – The Phoenicians

We actually started this several days ago, but only finished it on Friday. In our Story of the World readings, we learned more about the Phoenicians, who were famous for their purple dye. They made them from the  mucous secretions of a sea snail.

Mmmm… Instead we used an expired bag of frozen blueberries. We boiled it for an hour.

At least that’s how long you’re supposed to boil the blueberries! Mama spaced it while she was updating the blog and ended up with the house stinking like burnt blueberries! Anyone want blueberry crisp?

Luckily I had more blueberries so we tried again, although we had to use our fresh, organic blueberries. At least this time we had more success. For our SOTW activity, we were to dye pasta shapes, so we dunked some in. This wheel shape pasta was the most “fun” shape I could find.

This dye looked super potent and I was a little apprehensive as we tried not to spill or splatter it!

Mistake #2: I let the pasta sit in the dye too long and they turned out almost-black. I wanted to show Satori something dyed actually purple, so I found some white yarn and we dyed that too. Perfect to make a beaded necklace!

A day after drying…

Satori beading her necklace.

Finished product! David was very lucky and got a necklace too.

The Phonenicians were famous for this royal purple dye and it fetched its weight in silver. It took 12,000 of these mollusks to extract just 1.5 grams of dye! Needless to say, it was very expensive and only elite or royalty could afford it.

The Phoenicians were known for their ships and trading throughout the ancient world. Just a few of the things they traded were their glass (they had amazing glass blowing skills) and their purple dye. Today we did two projects – here’s the first.

One of the SOTW Activity Guide projects is to make pretend colored glass. We selected a picture to put inside our “glass”, and thought we might as well choose a picture of a Phoenician boat I got off Google images.

Meanwhile, I set Satori off to make some crayon shavings from some crayons and stubs we no longer use. We also cut up some colored thread.

We sprinkled the crayon shavings and thread on our picture and enveloped it in two pieces of wax paper.

Mama took the iron to it and we ended up with a pretty colored glass picture! You cannot really see our Phoenician boat anymore, but I wasn’t really sure why we were supposed to stick a picture in there anyway, the color threads and crayon bits look awesome by themselves.

We hung it up in our window to admire!

Tomorrow we will finish our Phoenician purple dye activity and I’ll tell of our blueberry disaster!