Leather tongue

Leather tongue

Leather tongue
Central Asia
206 BC-400 AD
Stitched leather and wool yarn
Length 13.4 cm x width 2.2 cm x depth 1.2 cm
Museum no. LOAN:STEIN.625 (T.VI.c.002)
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
On loan from Government of India and the Archaeological Survey of India

This leather tongue is made of three to five leather strips superimposed and sewn together for half their length. The unsewn ends are rounded and along the edge of each there are three semicircular perforations. The sewn ends are roughly cut off. On one of the sewn halves there are three rows of woollen pile in red, dark blue and yellow. The reverse shows the remains of red lacquer. It was probably used as the tongue of a saddle or harness strap. This leather tongue or strap was discovered in what used to be a dwelling for the men stationed at one of the westernmost watchtowers. The soldiers appear to have kept their horses indoors with them, as horse manure was also found in the room.