The earliest known key device discovered was the lock and key mechanism in the ruins of Nineveh which was the capital of ancient Assyria. This type of lock and key mechanism is what the Egyptians later developed into the wooden pin lock which consisted of a bolt, door fixture, and key.
The Egyptian pin lock worked as follows; when the key was inserted the pins inside the fixture were lifted out of the drilled holes within the bolt allowing it to move. Once the key was removed the pins fell part way into the bolt preventing any movement.
The most recognized ancient lock and key design of the Western world is the warded lock which was the first all metal lock appearing between the years of 870 and 900 and attributed to English craftsmen. Additionally it is believed that the warded lock was invented by Theodore of Samos in the 6th century BC.
In ancient Roman times many affluent Romans often used ancient forms of strongboxes to secure their wealth and valuables. The secure boxes maintained access control by allowing access only to those who had the correct key. Keys to the Roman secure boxes were worn on the finger of an affluent Roman as a ring to both keep the key handy at all times and to signify that the wearer was wealthy and important enough to have wealth and valuables worth securing.
If you would like to make sure your home and valuables inside are secure in modern times make sure to contact a lock and security expert in your area to help maintain access control. If located in Tucson contact the lock and security experts at C & S Lock & Security!