A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
German researchers have uncovered what may be the remains of the world's oldest handbag, according to Sachsen-Anhalt State Archaeology and Preservation Office archaeologist Susanne Friederich. Though the bag itself, probably made of leather or linen, rotted away long ago, the form of the bag's outer flap—made of more than 100 dog teeth, all sharp canines—was preserved. The remains were discovered in a surface coal mine not far from Leipzig, next to the body of a woman buried at the end of the Stone Age, between 4,200 and 4,500 years ago. Dog teeth are often found in graves from the period, usually as necklaces or hair ornaments. "But every woman would argue that a handbag should count as jewelry too," says Friederich. Further analysis may reveal more about the dozens of dogs whose teeth decorated the bag.