14th century ring used to poison drinks
August 26, 2013 | 12 comments
Poisoned drinks would have proven deadly. Image Credit: CC 2.0 Robert-Couse-Baker
Archaeologists in Bulgaria have uncovered a ring once used as a way to secretly poison people's drinks.
Dating back to the 14th century, the well worn ring was discovered at Cape Kaliakra, the site of a medieval fortress that is currently being excavated. The ring was designed to be worn on the little finger of the right hand, most likely by a male nobleman.
The wearer would likely have filled it with deadly poison and then surreptitiously emptied it in to the target's drink or food while either filling a glass or stretching across the table.
The find is particularly interesting because it shows that politically-motivated murders were potentially commonplace in medieval Bulgaria.
"I have no doubts that the hole is there on purpose and the ring was worn on the right hand, because the hole was made in such a way so as to be covered by a finger, so that the poison can be dropped at a momentís notice," said Dr. Bonnie Petrunova who led the excavation. "This explains many of the unexplained deaths of cape among nobles and aristocrats close to Dobrotitca."
Source: Discovery News
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