German Archaeologists Discover World’s Oldest Handbag

Yesterday archaeologists excavating relics from a Stone and Bronze Age site near Leipzig, Germany announced the discovery of an item, or at least the remains of one, that takes the term vintage to a whole new level; according to a report from National Georaphic’s Daily News. The item in questions consisted of more than 100 dog teeth arranged close together and in orderly rows, and was found in a grave of a adult age female that has been dated sometime between 2,500 and 2,200 B.C. Experts believe that the teeth, which were a common component of Stone Age jewelry served as a decorative embellishment on fabric or leather bag.

“Over the years the leather or fabric disappeared, and all that’s left is the teeth. They’re all pointing in the same direction so it looks a lot like a modern handbag flap,” said Susanne Friederich an archaeologist from the Sachsen-Anhalt State Archaeology and Preservation Office. “It’s the first time we can show direct evidence of a bag like this.”

Stone Age archaeological digs throughout Europe and even here in the America’s have repeatedly found evidence that animal teeth, bones and even seashells were all common decorative elements in primitive jewelry.

“It seems to have been very fashionable at the time,” said Harald Staueble, senior archaeologist at Germany’s Saxon State Archaeology Office when asked about the significance of the teeth. Mr. Staueble also added that “not everyone was buried with such nice things, just the really special graves.”

Whoever our prehistoric fashionista was she was certainly important, because it is incredibly uncommon to find so many teeth (objects of obvious value at that time) decorating a single item. The total amount of teeth must have come from at least a dozen animals, making the bag a seriously pricey pieces of prehistoric haute couture and also proving that there wasn’t any Stone Age equivalent of PETA. It’s also clear that our Stone Age fashionista really loved her hangbag, after all, she was buried with it!

Click here to read the full Nat Geo article and check out the photos of the teeth.

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