26 Feb '14, 10pm

This 700-year-old purse from Iraq is remarkably intact

A handbag of brass, inlaid with gold and silver has been identified as one of the earliest surviving examples of a woman’s purse, the BBC reports . The elaborate handbag was made in Mosul, Iraq, around 1,300 A.D. Older evidence of purses exists—like parts of a 4,200-year-old purse, found in Germany . That purse, however, didn't endure the ravages of time. All researchers found were the remnants of dog teeth (a decoration) in the pattern of what they thought could be a purse. It's still a fascinating discovery, but not exactly capable of carrying anything today. Purses have existed for a long time—what better way to carry a bunch of objects than to wrap them in an animal hide and sling the whole thing over your shoulder or attach it to a belt? This way, your hands are free to find food or build a fire. But purses and other materials like fabric and leather are rare in the a...

Full article: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/iraqi-handbag-ol...

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