Unusual-ology – Medieval ‘Poison Ring’ Found in Bulgaria.

Unusual-ology is a new post type which focuses on weird new articles/science areas that have cropped up and caught my eye.

A medieval ring which could have once been used to poison unsuspecting dinner guests has been unearthed by archaeologists. The ‘poison ring’ has a hidden compartment which an envious attendee could fill up with poison and sneakily tip into his targets drink – unbeknown to them.

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The medieval ‘poison ring’ discovered in a fortress on Cape Kaliakra, Bulgaria.

The 14th Century ring was discovered by Bulgarian archaeologists at the site of a medieval fortress on Cape Kaliakra, Kavarna situated close to the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. The ring is thought to have belonged to a wealthy but power hungry male, that had political ambitions and so wished to ‘take out’ some of his competitors silently and discretely.

This is the first ring of its kind to have been discovered in Bulgaria according to the director Boni Petrunova, of the National Archaeology Institute and Museum in Sofia. Dr Petrunova has interpreted the find as a ‘poison ring’ due to the positioning of the hole being easily covered by another finger so that the poison could be dropped at a ‘moment’s notice.’

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The hole in which the poison would be poured into the ring to be easily ‘dropped at a moment’s notice’ into unsuspecting diners drinks.

This ring provides evidence that poison was used in politically-motivated murders in Medieval Bulgaria, but the poison found preserved inside would have originated from Spain or Italy. The ring also improves existing knowledge about the life on Cape Kaliakra, by further identifying that it was home to local aristocracy.

However, there are some disagreements between historians on whether the ring truly was used to deliver poison. Some archaeologists suggest that it was an unusual reliquary ring which was once used to store the remains of Saints.

If you want to read more unusual science posts click here, or to read the Unusual-ology post on the Ancient Egyptian use of lettuce as an aphrodisiac, click here. Or to read about the newly discovered ‘Entrance to Hell’ click here!

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