Toponyms in Linear A Texts: si.di.ja

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HT 126 (HT Scribe unknown)

  • しじや (shijiya) | Ash Shidiya, Jordan

Wadi Ash Shidiyah, Jordan

Although the Phoenicians have been credited with the production of Tyrian purple, evidence suggests that, as early as the middle Minoan period (1900 to 1700 BCE), the Minoans had learned how to process the imperial dye [Steiglitz 1994:46-54], which was highly prized for its tendency to intensify with age and exposure to sunlight. In Natural History, Pliny the Elder describes the process of extracting the dye from the murex shellfish. However, since Pliny’s description lacks key steps, in 1998, John Edmonds experimented until he was able to achieve the coveted purple. His success relied upon the addition of potassium salt (potash), which the ancients also used in the production of glass. As a byproduct of the Dead Sea, potash is among Jordan’s exports. Wadi ash Shidiyah (or Wadi Shidiyah), as its name indicates, is a ravine that becomes a watercourse during the rainy season.


  1. Dead Sea Works. WysInfo Docuwebs: Life From the Dead Sea. Ret. on 12 Aug. 2012.
  2. Jordan Exports — Commodities. Ret. on 08 May 2012.
  3. Potash. Ret. on 18 Jun 2012.
  4. Tyrian purple. Ret. on 18 Jun 2012.

Entry added on 12 Aug 2012
New entry on 23 May 2015

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