The world’s oldest purse may have been found in Germanyâ€”and its owner apparently had a sharp sense of Stone Age style.
According to archaeologist Susanne Friederich, the teeth were likely decorations for the outer flap of a handbag.
“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 Friederich, of the Sachsen-Anhalt State Archaeology and Preservation Office.
The dog teeth were found during excavations of the 250-acre (100-hectare) Profen (map) site, which is slated to become an open-pit coal mine in 2015.
So far the project has uncovered evidence of Stone and Bronze Age settlements, including more than 300 graves, hundreds of stone tools, spear points, ceramic vessels, bone buttons, and an amber necklace.
Thousands of finds from later periodsâ€”including the grave of a woman buried with a pound (half a kilogram) of gold jewelry around 50 B.C.â€”have also turned up.