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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Thursday, March 16, 2017

dog lock

thanks finds.org.uk DEN-0F2C87 CC BY 2.0
When a countryside has been inhabited for a very long time, it stands to reason that as you go about your business - digging up your carrots, putting in that new septic tank - you might well find stuff left behind by someone.  Left when, though?  In the Flintshire district of Wales in 2008, a metal detector turned up this dog-shaped lock. (Or lion shaped, but I think it looks like a Newfoundland myself.)  It's been hanging about since approximately 1200 A.D.
I found it on the Portable Antiquities Scheme website, a project funded by the UK government to "promote the voluntary recording of archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales."  You should go look at it. It's cool.
Animal imagery played a huge part in medieval art, not least for its symbolism; I can well imagine a protective padlock would be made in the shape of a guard dog.  Here is an essay at the Met website on the subject.

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