Excavators near Leipzig have discovered what appear to be the remnants of an ancient purse encrusted with over 100 dog teeth. This unusual decorative item has been dated to 2,500-2,300 BC.
The ‘purse’ was found in a grave during a rescue excavation of an open-pit coal mine in Germany. Although the fabric has long since disintegrated, the uniform lines of dog teeth resemble the outside flap of a modern handbag. Dog teeth are a relatively common find in this area, and were often used for ornamental jewellery; but the use of canine teeth for decoration on the exterior of what looks like a purse is most unusual. Is this an archaic prototype of the classic ‘houndstooth’ design?
Perhaps our ancestors were more stylish than we give them credit for…