In 2002, on G. Goniotakis plot, on the northwest side of the city of Chania, a purple dye workshop was revealed. The workshop, which is visible today in the basement of a building, includes two circular ovens. At the center of each oven there is a large cylindrical stone on which metal vats were placed to heat up the dye. East of the ovens was a large roofed outdoor room in which four vessels were found. The ceramics date the use of the workshop from the the mid-1st to the mid-2nd c. A.D. The workshop also contained a large tank on the northeast, an aqueduct and a well filled in with crushed and whole muricidae shells, mainly Murex trunculus. Shells of other species were also found, such as Buccinulum corneum, Monodonta turbinata, Cerithium vulgatum and Fasciolaria lignaria.
Purple dye, considered to be of Syro-Phoenician origin, was an extremely high-quality product and its production had great economic importance for a city. Our knowledge of the tools and methods used by the ancient dyers is limited, as the production of purple dye and dyeing of fabrics was the work of trustworthy and discreet people who kept their techniques secret.