16 June 2008

A 20-sided die... from the 2nd century A.D.

Everyone who has played Dungeons and Dragons or other role-playing games is familiar with multi-sided dies. The one above is described in the Christie's catalogue as:

Circa 2nd Century A.D.
Deep blue-green in color, the large twenty-sided die incised with a distinct symbol on each of its faces
2 1/16 in. (5.2 cm.) wide

"Several polyhedra in various materials with similar symbols are known from the Roman period. Modern scholarship has not yet established the game for which these dice were used."

It sold at auction for $18,000.

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