world's oldest purse

Photo Credit: National Geographic

Rarely is anything completely new in fashion and, more often than not, trends tend to recycle themselves (uh, hello again 1990’s). So, while fascinating, it’s not shocking that the world’s oldest purse was recently discovered in a grave near Leipzig, Germany, dating back to around 2,200-2,500 BC.  Described by excavators as a clutch bag, the purse is adorned with the signature “sequin” detail attributed to the time.  While the Bedazzler had yet to be invented and DIY videos on the art of spangling your handbag at home were a mere pipedream for the crafty prehistoric woman, there was still one popular option for the stone-age fashionista who wanted some bling on her bag: dog teeth!

According to the original interview printed in National Geographic, archaeologist Susanne Friederich stated that she believed the dog teeth were used as outer decorations on the flap of the handbag and “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.”

Interestingly, during these prehistoric times in northern and central Europe, dogs were considered as sacred as a woman’s favorite handbag is today.  In fact, dogs were often buried with the dead and considered divine escorts.  This ancient purse was constructed from the teeth of dozens of animals.  Yet, with all the dog teeth found in these discovered burial grounds, it is believed that dogs were just as much livestock as they were pets.

“It’s the first time we can show direct evidence of a bag like this,” Friedrich concluded.

Source: National Geographic