This earring is Frankish. So I was told. I bought it from a man who dealt in prehistoric cave bear fossils, claws, teeth, skulls, whole skeletons. He had a thick German accent, or at least, German to me, could have been Austrian or even Swiss. This was at the Tucson Gem and Fossil show, which is worth a story in itself. Dealers from all over the world descend on the desert town, taking over hotels, motels, and convention centers to sell everything from Burmese rubies to entire stegosaurs. I was in the converted bedroom of a Best Western Motel, surrounded by full-sized mounted cave bear skeletons and their assorted disartculated bones. I have learned that often the best deals are little abandoned tchotchkes that  the seller doesn't specialize in, so I asked about the damaged earring sitting among a scattering of patinaed pins, buttons, and brooches. "Daht iss Vrankish, Sevenz  Zentury, from Aachen." He was a bit put out that I might wear it in my ear. "But, it iss Vrankish!" I told him that was the point. There is a big hole in the earring. I suspect that this is because the earring was ritually killed before being buried with its original owner. That kind of thing is not uncommon in pre-Christian warrior graves, objects being partially destroyed so that they can go on to the afterlife with their owners. It has seen things and places that it's original owner could not imagine. Someday in the far in the future, it may lie on another table surrounded by fragments of a vanished past and someone will say, "It's from ancient Pasadena, along the western coast. I found it with some others."

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