A late medieval belt hook for hanging keys or a purse was found near Kamień Pomorski (West Pomerania). So far, only 15 artefacts of this type have been discovered in Europe.

The Kamień Land History Museum, which added the artefact to its collections, announced the discovery on social media. The museum director, archaeologist Grzegorz Kurka, described the find as extraordinary.

In German literature, monuments of this type are called anthropomorphe Gürtelhaken, figürliche Schlüsselhalter, Schlüsserhaken.

“Objects of this type are discovered only in the north-western part of Poland. So far, only 15 similar belt hooks have been discovered in Europe – one in Hungary, one in Austria and 12 in Germany; most of them were discovered in Bavaria,” said Kurka.

He added that the newly discovered belt hook (56 mm high) is in very good condition.

‘The front side has an anthropomorphic form. The figure’s head is schematically marked. The hands are resting on the hips. Protruding from the hip, they form an arc with holes with a diameter of 4 mm. Diagonal and horizontal cuts are visible on the torso and hips – schematically creating a costume typical of the late Gothic. Below the costume there is a vertical, 13 mm long hole, and directly below it – another hole, probably intended for hanging keys or a purse (4 mm in diameter),’ Kurka said.

The belt hook was found by a detectorist – a member of the Saint Cordula Exploration Association for the Saving of Monuments – which brings together history enthusiasts who discover the secrets of the region conducting legal searches with metal detectors.

The collection of the Kamień museum already includes two late-medieval belt hooks, discovered in 2017 and 2018. The first one was found near Trzebiatów, the second – in a field near Skarychów (Kamień Pomorski commune).