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Random Facets from the History of Dice
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This geeklist is concerned with the history of dice, picking out bits and pieces, oddities and archaeological findings. I value sourced information, especially from sources of the highest quality, so I try to provide just that. Many sources (including ones I don't have access to) are listed here, but some additional bibliographic information can be found on some of the image pages.

It's totally fine to discuss academics here. I'm sorry this is still comparatively rough and unpolished in most places. This will not change dramatically for the time being. At the moment, I'm happy to add and edit small bits and pieces as often as I can manage.
The main purpose is not to provide a readable essay - this is a fragmentary, incomplete bibliography with some comments thrown in. It is a work in progress. Some of it has just a "note to self" character. I have not yet checked every book or paper listed here. I hope that it usually will be clear which sources I have already checked, and which are still on my to do list.

Also, I feel it is appropriate to point out that I am not an archaeologist, nor a specialist on the regions, cultures and time periods discussed below - which is precisely the reason why I try to source all the information that I give. (Please be aware that my sources may be outdated or plain wrong.)

That said, I am confident that this geeklist provides a fascinating perspective on the history of dice. This is, to my knowledge, currently the best online source of information on dice of the third millenium BC, and the best bibliography on the 26-sided dice made of Zöblitz serpentine.
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1. RPG Item: Liber Fanatica Volume IV: The Academic's Handbook [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:1653]
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Publications on the (General) History of Dice

To my knowledge, there is no standard work covering the cultural history of dice in an academic manner. There are a few books in more or less popular style.

Online, a decent start is the History of Dice on the Awesome Dice blog. The sources where the info is compiled from are linked below the image - mostly newspages, not academic publications.

Then there are some books made for a general audience (if people interested in dice can be called "general audience"):
Leo van der Heijdt: Face to face with dice. Gopher publishers, 2005. (recommended!)
Ulrich Vogt: Der Würfel ist gefallen - 5000 Jahre rund um den Kubus. Georg Olms Verlag, Hildesheim - Zürich - New York 2012. (Richly illustrated, journalistic, somewhat coffee table book style IMO.)
Jürgen D. Buchenmatth: Die 7. Seite des Würfels. 1990. (Unfortunately, I can't recommend this one.)
Günther G. Bauer (ed.): 5000 Jahre Würfelspiel. Katalog zur Ausstellung im Schloß Kleßheim. Homo Ludens - Der spielende Mensch, Sondernummer [special issue] 1999. (contains an article by Schädler on dicing in ancient Greece and Rome, and an article by B. Holländer mostly focused on medieval and early modern times, similar to the focus of the exhibition)

A fantastic (but short) ride through the history of dice is given by
Ulrich Schädler: Schicksal - Chance - Glück. Die vielen Seiten des Würfels. In: U. Schädler (ed.): Spiele der Menschheit. 5000 Jahre Kulturgeschichte der Gesellschaftsspiele. Darmstadt 2007, pp. 9-19. [The book was also published in French: Jeux de l'Humanité. 5000 ans d'histoire culturele des jeux de société. Geneva 2007.]

There are, however, many academic studies concerned with specific questions. I don't think an exhaustive bibliography exists, but if you know of something, please pass it on!
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2. RPG Item: The Great Old Ones [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:418]
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So, which are the oldest dice?

This answer is work in progress and subject to changes.

Fair question, but hard to answer, mostly because the objects are not easy to date. Among the oldest surviving dice are sticks from the early dynastic period of Egypt (probably ca. 3000 BC or early third millenium BC), the tetrahedral binary dice and the stick dice from the Royal Game of Ur (dated ca. 2600 BC), and a cubical die from Tepe Gawra (dated ca. first half of the third millenium BC). I think there are several other dice from the second half of the third millenium from various sites. See below for details.

So far I have not been able to confirm claims of dice older than that.

We can speculate that two-sided stick dice as well as other types of objects (e.g. shells or knucklebones) have been used for much longer than that, which seems very plausible - but there's no hard evidence AFAIK.

Also, please keep in mind that, while the objects discussed below are usually (and plausibly so) considered to have been used as dice, it's difficult to be absolutely certain. I'll follow the common scientific assumptions here (or point out the dispute, if there is any), but please note that scientific assumptions are likely to change if new evidence or a better argument is presented.
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3. RPG Item: Dice [Average Rating:9.09 Unranked]
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Shahr-i Sokhta, Burnt City
Also spelled as Shahr-e Sukhteh, Shahr-e Sūkhté, Šahr-i Sūḫta (Persian: شهر سوخته‎, meaning "[The] Burnt City").

Shahr-i Sokhta is an archaeological site in the southeast of Iran, near the borders to Pakistan and Afghanistan, in the Sistan and Baluchistan province, located on the banks of the Helmand River. It is sometimes associated with the Jiroft culture, but whether the Jiroft culture is a helpful archaeological construct or not seems to be still under debate.

The settlement lasted from ca. 3200 BC to 1800 BC and belongs in the Bronze Age of its area. AFAIK the term "Bronze Age" in the archaeology of Ancient Iran is used to denote the time between the Chalcolithic and the Iron Age, but doesn't really imply certain technological characteristics.

The main excavation campaigns were an Italian one (1967-1978) led by Maurizio Tosi, and an Iranian campaign that began sometime around the turn of the millenium (about 1997?), headed by SMS Sajjadi.

For the purposes of our geeklist here, we will have to deal with dice found during the Italian campaign on the one hand (some of them in conjunction with a board for the Game of Twenty Squares), dating to ca. the second half of the third millenium BC, and on the other hand with a news post from the time of the Iranian excavations claiming that dice and a "backgammon board" have been found, dating to 3000 BC.

Dice from Burnt City, found during the Italian excavations

For the game board and gaming pieces found in Shahr-i Sokhta, see my geeklist on the Game of Twenty Squares for more details. The four-sided wooden stick dice found alongside the game board in grave 731 date to ca. 2300 BC:


Other dice from roughly the same time, including a cubical d6 (Tosi 1983; Cortesi/ Tosi/ Lazzari/ Vidale 2008):


Literature:
PIPERNO M. and SALVATORI S.: 1982. Evidence of Western Cultural Connections from a Phase 3 Group of Graves at Shahr-i Sokhta. In: H.-J. Nissen/ J. Renger (eds.): Mesopotamien und seine Nachbarn. Politische und kulturelle Wechselbeziehungen im Alten Vorderasien vom 4. bis 1. Jahrtausend v. Chr. [XXV. Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale Berlin, 3. bis 7. Juli 1978], Teil 1. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag, pp. 79-85. Plates XIX-XXV in Nissen/Renger (eds.), Teil 2 [= Vol. 2], at the back of the book. academia.edu

PIPERNO M. and SALVATORI S.: 1983. Recent Results and New Perspectives from the Research at the Graveyard of Shahr-i Sokhta, Sistan, Iran. Annuali dell’Istituto Universitario Orientale 43,2: 173-191. (Both papers by Piperno and Salvatori discuss the gaming board carved with a snake motif and the gaming pieces found near it.)

PIPERNO M. and SALVATORI S.: 2007. The Shahr-i Sokhta Graveyard (Sistan, Iran). Excavation Campaigns 1972-1978. Roma: IsIAO (IsIAO Reports and Memoirs New Series VI). - figs. 691-693.

TOSI, 1983: Development, Continuity and Cultural Change in the Stratigraphic Sequence of Shahr-i Sokhta. In: TOSI M. (ed.), Prehistoric Sistan 1: 127-180. Roma: IsMEO (IsMEO Reports and Memoirs XIX,1). - p. 174, fig. 10-11.

More to come...

Cortesi/ Tosi/ Lazzari/ Vidale mention several dice, mostly from "Period III", and point to several sources which I'd like to take a look at. Need more time...
E. Cortesi/ M. Tosi/ A. Lazzari/ M. Vidale: Cultural Relationships beyond the Iranian Plateau: The Helmand Civilization, Baluchistan and the Indus Valley in the 3rd Millennium BCE. In: Paléorient 2008 Volume 34 Numéro 34-2, pp. 5-35. (discussing dice on pp. 24-27)
PDF at persee.fr

Also, I need to check out this:
Sandro Salvatori: Shahr-i Sokhta revised sequence. http://www.academia.edu/2163371/Shahr-i_Sokhta_revised_seque...



Dice and Backgammon set from 3000BC? Sorry, but this claim hasn't been confirmed so far

Various sites on the internet claim something along the following lines:
Wikipedia wrote:
The oldest known dice were excavated as part of a 5000-year-old backgammon set at the Burnt City, an archaeological site in south-eastern Iran


https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dice&oldid=673102...; the passage was changed (deleting the quoted line) in late July 2015.

Problem is, only an online source is given, and the original page is no longer available. It seems that this is a copy of the original press release text from 2004:

Quote:
CHN News
Dec 4, 2004

The oldest backgammon in the world along with 60 pieces has been unearthed beneath the rubbles of the legendary Burnt City in Sistan-Baluchistan province, southeastern Iran.

Iranian archeologists working on the relics of the 5,000-year-old civilization argue this backgammon is much older than the one already discovered in Mesopotamia and their evidence is strong enough to claim the board game was first played in the Burnt City and then transferred to other civilizations.

"The backgammon reveals intriguing clues to the lifestyle of those people," said Mansour Sajjadi, head of the research team.

"The board is rectangular and made of ebony, which did not grow in Sistan and merchants used to import it from India."

He added the board features an engraved serpent coiling around itself for 20 times, thus producing 20 slots for the game, more affectionately known in Persian as Nard. The engraving, artistically done, indicates artisans in the Burnt City were masters of the craft.

"The 60 pieces were also unearthed inside a terracotta vessel beside the board. They were made of common stones quarried in the city, including agate and turquoise," Sajjadi added.

Experts still wonder why they played the game with 60 pieces and are trying to discern its rules, but it at least shows it is 100-200 years older than the one discovered in Mesopotamia.

They are also intrigued that inhabitants of ancient civilizations, widely believed to be concerned with their daily survival, could afford to indulge in such luxuries as playing board games.

Source:
http://www.parstimes.com/history/oldest_backgammon.html
http://www.payvand.com/news/04/dec/1029.html

See also:
http://www.laputanlogic.com/articles/2004/12/011-0001-6358.h...

Skeptical details on this problematic news report:
http://www.awesomedice.com/blog/253/history-of-dice-2/
and http://gchess.bizland.com/Twenty%20Squares.htm

The image shown under the source links above actually is taken from the website of dice collector Arjan Verweij, it shows a pair of dice described as Roman by Verweij.

So, whoever compiled the news article did not have an image of the alleged oldest dice, and simply scraped something else from the internet. (Never mind the difference of roughly 3000 years, or the huge geographical discrepancy - who cares?)

The game board is described strikingly similar to the one found in the 1970s by the Italian team - but that was found together with roughly 30 gaming pieces, not 60. The news article seems to imply that this is a recent finding. In case the archaeologists (and journalists) are talking about a second game board newly found, why do they not reference the board found 30 years earlier?
The talk of backgammon and nard is irritating. Both are games of a type different from the game board previously found at Shahr-i Sokhta (nard is similar to backgammon, AFAIK). The comparison to a game played in Mesopotamia is obviously directed at the glaring similarities between the Royal Game of Ur and the Shahr-i Sokhta game board found by the Italians. Both belong to the family of what is usually called the "Game of Twenty Squares".

A hint of more info:

Ulrich Schädler and Anne-Elizabeth Dunn-Vaturi: "Board Games in pre-Islamic Persia". In: Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, 2009. available at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/board-games-in-pre-isl... (accessed June 23rd, 2015).

Schädler and Dunn-Vaturi say:
Quote:
In December 2004, the finding of another board of similar design (jasri: that is, similar to the game of 20 squares, not to nard/ backgammon!) together with two cubic dice was reported on the Internet (“World’s Oldest Backgammon Discovered in Burnt City”).

I read that as: "Someone claimed X (and someone else on the internet got at least one detail wrong), but we don't really know anything for certain about this bit."

I've leafed through the following excavation reports from Shahr-i Sokhta, presenting materials from the Iranian archaeological campaign at the site. None of them mention a backgammon set or dice from 3000 BC.

Sajjadi, S.M.S.; Foruzanfar, F.; Shirazi, R.; Baghestani, S.: Excavations at Shahr-i Sokhta. First Preliminary Report on the Excavations of the Graveyard 1997-2000. In: Iran. Journal of the British Institute of Persian Studies. Vol. 41 (2003), pp. 21-98.

Sajjadi, S.M.S.: Sistan and Baluchistan Project. In: Iran. Journal of the British Institute of Persian Studies. Vol. 43 (2005), pp. 87-92.

Sajjadi, S.M.S.; Casanova, M.; Costantini, L.; Lorentz, K.O.: Sistan and Baluchistan Project: Short Reports on the Tenth Campaign of Excavations at Shahr-i Sokhta. In: Iran. Journal of the British Institute of Persian Studies. Vol. 46 (2008), pp. 307-334.

So far, I could not find anything that substantiates the claim of dice (whether for backgammon or a game of 20 squares) from 3000 BC. If somebody can provide more info (e.g. an academic paper discussing the alleged gameboard and dice), please tell me.

Currently, I believe this is a hoax, perhaps a simple misunderstanding: Iranian archaeologists discussing a new dating for the older findings, claiming that "their" game predates the Mesopotamian game and not the other way round. The journalists maybe didn't really understand there was no new discovery (just a new theory), and needed a picture, so I imagine they just googled for ancient dice and took the next best picture. Just a guess, but with some plausibility, I think.
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4. Board Game: The Royal Game of Ur [Average Rating:5.61 Overall Rank:13951]
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The Royal Game of Ur and its dice

Search for more info on the BM's pages: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/sear...




The binary tetrahedral dice (d2s shaped like d4s, so to speak) that accompany one of the gaming boards found in the Royal Cemetery of Ur date approx. to the middle of the third millenium BC - often, the 26th century BC or 2600 BC are cited as dates. The were found in the grave of Puabi ("Queen Shub-ad"). Woolley refers to them as "solid triangles" (p. 278 and p. 279).
http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/coll...
British Museum, Reg. No. 1928,1009.385, Museum No. 120840. Grey-black stone tetrahedral dice; depression in top; small spot of white inlay in two of the corners.
http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/coll...

The stick dice found in two other graves ("bone rods" in PG/779 and "shell rods" in PG/1326) are four-sided or two-sided. Woolley describes them as having "incised/engraved lines on one side and (two) concentric circles at each end of the other three sides" (similar quotes on p. 278 and p. 279). I don't know how these two graves are dated, but they are probably contemporary to the tetrahedrals.
http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/coll...
http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/coll...
http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/coll...
http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/coll...

I haven't found good pictures of the stick dice yet. See the images below; in those images the sticks look rather flat - Woolley's description on the other hand sounds as if they have four sides of similar size, and can land on all four faces.

British Museum, Reg. Number 1928,1009.378; BM/ Big Number 120834 (BM page for one of the five game boards excavated, with some images showing the dice next to it)

L. Woolley: Ur Excavations. The Royal Cemetery. 1934.
Text: archive.org and http://www.etana.org/node/584
Plates: archive.org and http://www.etana.org/node/951 and http://www.etana.org/node/813 (PDF)

Direct links for your convenience:
Woolley, pp. 274-279: description of gaming boards, pieces and dice.
plates 95ff. (plate 95 is missing one the archive.org file, use the Etana PDF linked above)
and plate 221

AWOL - Ancient World Online: Open Access Monograph Series: Ur Excavations (Monday, September 22, 2014) - List of links to sources and resources


Finkel also mentions the dice briefly:
Irving L. Finkel: On the Rules For The Royal Game of Ur. In: Finkel (ed.): Ancient Board Games in Perspective. British Museum Press 2007, 2008. p. 17

Photographs from the British Museum, by Geek users:





I'm preparing a separate geeklist for this board game "family": Game of Twenty Squares
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5. RPG: Mesopotamians [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Ur/ Sumer/ Mesopotamia

For the presumed dice for The Royal Game of Ur, see above.

G. Dales, Of Dice and Men, in Journal of the American Oriental Society 88 (1968), 14-22.

C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky: Trade Mechanisms in Indus-Mesopotamian Interrelations. Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 92, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1972), pp. 222-229. Discusses dice found in Mesopotamia on p. 226 - probably originating from the Indus region.

Tepe Gawra (probably the oldest surviving cubic die)
Tepe Gawra is a big mound near Mosul in today's Iraq. Its long history of occupation spans from the late Neolithic into the middle of the second millenium BC. It was excavated in the 1930s.
Speiser (Excavations at Tepe Gawra, Vol. 1 (1935), p. 82) wrote:
Gaming Pieces. By far the most interesting object of this class is the die illustrated on Pl. XXXVII. a. It was found (the illustration gives two views showing all six sides) in R. 620 and is thus the oldest definitely datable specimen of this shape (roughly cubical). The measurements are 24 by 23 by 20 mm. The ware is buff and extremely well fired. The edges show considerable wear.
The points are arranged exactly as on modern dice except that 3 is triangular and not diagonal. Another item of difference is that the points on two opposite sides do not add up regularly to seven. Here 2 is opposite 3, 4 opposite 5, and 6 is opposed by 1.
There is a close and unmistakable relationship between the Gawra piece and the dice found at Mohenjo-daro. (...)

Speiser 1935, Tepe Gawra http://rbedrosian.com/Mespot/Speiser_1935_TepeGawra.pdf
quote referring to the die: p. 82 (p. 99 in the PDF);
plate XXXVII on p. 276 of the PDF



Room 620 belongs to Stratum VI of Tepe Gawra, which Speiser relates to the early copper age and tentatively dates to the first half of the third millenium and the early dynastic period, probably bordering on the Sargonid age (pp. 178-180 = PDF pp. 195ff). He also speculates that the die and a stamp from the same stratum come from the Indus valley (p. 163f. = PDF p. 180f.).

The die went into the collection of the museum of the Univ. of Pennsylvania (because they organized the excavations at Tepe Gawra in the 1930s) and I guess it's still there. Edit: 'Tis! Object Number: 31-52-309

https://books.google.de/books?id=2ZbiBQAAQBAJ&pg=PA9&dq=dice...

https://books.google.de/books?id=CdgPEhJh5tUC&pg=PA18&lpg=PA...

W. Norman Brown: The Indian Games of Pachisi, Chaupar, and Chausar. In: Expedition Magazine. Volume 6, Issue 2 (May 1964), pp. 32-35. Online. - mentions the cubical die from Tepe Gawra in passing, but provides an image, too.

Follow the bibliographic links provided by Possehl in Reade (ed.) 2013: Indian Ocean in Antiquity, P. 166f. Google Book Search
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6. Board Game: Indus [Average Rating:5.56 Overall Rank:12619]
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Indus Valley, Mohenjo Daro, Harappa

Bronze age settlements in the Indus valley were first excavated in the 1920s and 1930s. Of these urban settlements Mohenjo-daro is the largest, it is estimated to have reached its urban state approx. 2400 BC. It started to decline ca. 1900 BC. According to the archaeologists, the amount of gamesmen and dice found at Mohenjo-daro was notable. Other hallmarks, by the way, are its use of standardized mudbricks and the systems for water supply and drainage employed.

We'll ignore the gamesmen. Based on Elke Rogersdotter, there are two or three types of dice to discuss:
1. cubical dice,
2. stick dice (with some sort of numerical markings), called "tabular dice" by Mackay, sub-divided into five types,
3. casting sticks (?).

1. Cubical dice (Rogersdotter 2011, pp. 137-141)
Mackay in Marshall 1931, p. 551, wrote:
That dicing was a common game at Mohenjo-daro is proved by the number of pieces that have been found. In all cases they are made of pottery and are usually cubical, ranging in size from 1.2 by 1.2 by 1.2 inches, to 1.5 by 1.5 by 1.5 inches. One die, however, is rectangular, measuring 1.6 by 1.4 by 1.1 inches. I have found by experiment that owing to the inequality of its sides, all of which are numbered, this particular die has a distinct bias towards the higher numbers.


In the original field register, cubes and sticks are not distinguished. The excavation of the area DK-C first was headed by K.N. Diskhit, but due to an illness the final compilation and presentation of the findings fell to Mackay. It is possible that Mackay erroneously claimed in his first summary on Games and Toys (in Marshall 1931) that cubes formed the majority of found dice. At least in 1938 he claimed the opposite, writing that stick dice were more numerous than cubes.

Most of the cubical dice have pips arranged so that 1 is opposite to 2, 3 opposite 4, 5 opposite 6. They were made of pottery, stone, and ivory.





Color images of a cubical die from Harappa:
https://www.facebook.com/AncientIndus/photos/a.1015031561692...
http://veda.wikidot.com/info%3Aorigin-of-games (bottom of the page)

2. Stick dice (Rogersdotter 2011, pp. 137-141)
These long shapes (mostly rectangular/ four-sided) seem to be more common among the Mohenjo-daro dice than the cubes. They are usually made of ivory, and many have markings that seem to be decorative in nature (apart from the circles/ pips that give numerical values). There are different types of stick dice:
E. Rogersdotter on pages 138f. wrote:
The tabular dice are listed according to five different sub-types. They are either square or triangular in section, and the distinction of types depends on numbers of sides with similar or different markings: Square in section; four sides all different; Square in section; three sides different; Square in section; two sides similarly marked; Triangular in section; three sides all different; Triangular in section; two sides alike; the third different.


3. Casting sticks (Rogersdotter 2011, p. 142-145)
Similar in appearance to the stick dice described above, these objects show the same markings on every side. Mackay calls them "casting bones" or "casting sticks" and describes them in his Gaming and Toys chapters both in 1931 and 1938.
They are listed here since in the photographs they are mostly indistinguishable from the stick dice. Also, it makes sense to take them into consideration when discussing these obviously very similar objects that we presume are dice. See also Rogersdotter 2011, pp. 145-152 for other objects similar to the casting sticks.

E. Rogersdotter on pages 143f. wrote:
The later report lists four main types: Square in section, Rectangular in section, Triangular in section, as well as Half round in section. The first type displays the same, incised markings on all four sides. The second type mostly has the same but sometimes different incisions on the wider sides, while the narrow sides either have the same pattern or are blank. This type is very common. While most objects of this group have a parallel-sided, regular form, variations of body and ends can be seen as well (such as convex-shaped examples, or specimens with different forms of ends). The third type has three sides of the same pattern (fig. 5.23.). This group is also noted as numerous. The specimens of this type sometimes have curious shapes, and sometimes they are of short length. The fourth type exhibits one pattern on the rounded side and another on the flat side. This type is rare.

The second and fourth type (which have sides distinguishable not by markings, but by shape) might conceivably have been used as dice. This is pure speculation, however. The use of these objects is not known, and so far there seems to be no plausible explanation available.





Tetrahedra - Nothing indicates these have been used as dice. Mackay speculates they may have served as gamesmen. (Mackay in Marshall 1931, p. 559, Mackay 1938, p. 572, Rogersdotter, pp. 130-132, also occasional mentions on pp. 50-56). See some tetrahedral objects in the images below (click to go to enlarged version).


Literature
The early findings are documented by the excavation reports by Marshall and Mackay. Unfortunately, there is no reliable way of dating the objects from these archaeological campaigns (Rogersdotter 2011, p. 25f.), and the objects themselves are distributed among many museums, and often are no longer accounted for or lost (ibd. p. 96f. and 108). Dales (1968) considers how the dice from the Indus valley have reached other cultures. Cortesi et al. (2008) and Jarrige et al. (2011) argue whether it is possible to align the relative chronologies from Iranian sites like Shahr-i Sokhta with those from the Indus valley, but this debate seems to be still open.
Rogersdotter (2011) attempts to analyse the information available about the gaming material from Mohenjo-daro, despite the shortcomings of the older reports (from the point of view of modern archaeology). Her thesis is available online (see references below), and provides a welcome summary.

Below are given a few further titles and weblinks, but I'm still trying to find my way around the literature. As mentioned elsewhere on this geeklist, none of this can claim to be exhaustive. It is simply a glimpse into my excursions into this territory.

Marshall, sir J. (ed.): 1931. Mohenjo-Daro and the Indus Civilization. London: Probsthain. (Vol.I, p. 39; Vol. II, ch. xxvii "Games and Toys" written by Mackay = pp. 549-561; pl. CXXXII: 22-45; pl. CLIII: esp. 7-10)
Mackay, 1938, Further Excavations at Mohenjo-Daro. New Delhi: Government of India. pp. 559-562. pl. CXXXVIII: 41, 48; pl. CXLIII: 18-54, and particularly 41, 47, 49, 51.
[The only parts of these reports that I've found to be available online don't deal with the gaming materials.
Hemmy in Mackay, on weights:
- http://rws.xoba.com/indus_weights/Hemmy_Hall-1943-weights-Ch...
- http://rws.xoba.com/indus_weights/Hemmy-1938-weights-Mohenjo...
- Marshall on weights: http://rws.xoba.com/indus_weights/Marshall-1931-Weights-Mohe... ]


Mackay, 1938, Chanhu-Daro Excavations 1935-1936. New Delhi: Government
of India.

VATS M.S.: 1940. Excavations at Harappa. New-Delhi: Government of India. - some artefacts in pl. CXIX.

G. Dales, Of Dice and Men, in Journal of the American Oriental Society 88 (1968), 14-22. Dales discusses the interactions of various cultures at the time, using among other things dice as evidence for contact.

Current research:

E. CORTESI, M. TOSI, A. LAZZARI AND M. VIDALE: Cultural Relationships beyond the Iranian Plateau: The Helmand Civilization, Baluchistan and the Indus Valley in the 3rd Millennium BCE.
In: Paléorient 2008 Volume 34 Numéro 34-2, pp. 5-35. (discussing dice on pp. 24-27)
http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/paleo...
Jarrige, J.-F., Didier, A. & Quivron, G. (2011) Shahr-i Sokhta and the Chronology of the Indo-Iranian Borderlands. Paléorient 37 (2) : 7-34.
https://www.academia.edu/4602453/Jarrige_J.-F._Didier_A._and...
The article by Cortesi, Tois, Lazzari and Vidale proposes to link certain phases of Shahr-i Sokhta to phases of the cultures of the Indus valley, thus introducing a (partly) shared chronology. Jarrige, Didier and Quivron call this into question.

I have not yet found the time to dig deeper, as it were, for attempts at assigning the discussed objects an absolute dating (as opposed to the relative chronology used in those two papers).

Elke Rogersdotter: Gaming in Mohenjo-daro – an Archaeology of Unities. University of Gothenburg 2011 (doctoral thesis).
http://www.gu.se/english/research/publication/?publicationId...
http://www.fravahr.org/spip.php?breve1109 (news article about the thesis)
http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2011/02/15/6059847-games-... (news article about the thesis)


https://books.google.de/books?id=uRMGDmdE9FkC&pg=PA153&lpg=P...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/indus_valley/gam...

http://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/the-indian-games-of-...


Quote:
Pottery, stone weights, and dice of Indus origin are all found in sites along the Arabian Gulf and in the Gulf of Oman (Dales 1968; Possehl 2002; Ratnagar 2001).

quoted from Monica L. Smith: The Substance and Symbolism of Long-distance Exchange (= chapter 8), in: Shinu Anna Abraham,Praveena Gullapalli,Teresa P Raczek,Uzma Z Rizvi (eds.): Connections and Complexity: New Approaches to the Archaeology of South Asia, 2013, p. 150 (references on p. 158f.)
https://books.google.de/books?hl=de&lr=&id=bRHjGtTUr3sC&oi=f...

http://jameelcentre.ashmolean.org/collection/4/6739/6741/all...
http://imgarcade.com/1/mohenjo-daro-dice/
http://induscivilizations.weebly.com/the-ancient-world.html

______
Not part of the Indus Valley culture, but related/ in contact, is Altyn depe/ Altin Tepe in Turkmenistan (Masson and Sarianidi 1972), from where we have dice of Indus valley type, probably imported. They were found in "Namazga V" context, that is to say, Middle Bronze Age of that area, ca. 2000-1600 B.C.

V.M. Masson/ V.I. Sarianidi: Central Asia. Turkmenia before the Achaemenids. Translated and edited with a preface by Ruth Tringham. Thames and Hudson 1972, p. 115 (context of the hoards including the dice), p. 117 (figure of the objects from the hoard), p. 124 (comparing the objects to similar findings from Mohenjo-daro)



General info on the Altin Tepe: Enc. Iranica online

https://books.google.de/books?id=GW5Gx0HSXKUC&pg=PA166&lpg=P...

https://books.google.de/books?id=pmAuAsi4ePIC&pg=PA230&lpg=P...

https://books.google.de/books?id=3qvVBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA227&lpg=P...

https://books.google.de/books?id=1AJO2A-CbccC&pg=PA168&lpg=P...
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7. RPG Item: Ägypten - Altes Land der Pharaonen [Average Rating:8.60 Overall Rank:2459]
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Egypt

Basically just notes to myself. I don't have the time to really look at all the information right now.

Short overview in: Walter Crist, Anne-Elizabeth Dunn-Vaturi, Alex de Voogt: Ancient Egyptions at Play. Board Games Across Borders. 2016 (Bloomsbury), pp. 5-12.

Edgar B. Pusch: Das Senet-Brettspiel im Alten Ägypten. Teil 1, München: Dt. Kunstverl. 1979.
There's an iconographic tradition of boardgaming depiction in Egyptian tombs from the Old Kingdom through the New Kingdom. Pusch catalogues images as well as boards of the game Senet. Overall there is great conformity in these depictions, so maybe the playing, rules etc. of the game didn't change much during the centuries.
The first depiction including dice (astragals = knucklebones, to be precise) that I could find in his catalogue is no. 19. (end of the 18th dynasty, ca. 14th century BC). [Side note: No. 20 seems to be one of the earliest depiction of a woman playing a board game.] No. 27 shows an especially remarkable number of boardgaming elements (including throwing a knucklebone, another knucklebone lying on the board). It's hard to make out on the picture.
In his catalogue of game boards, no. 4 from the first dynasty (ca. 3000 BC) mentions dice sticks made from ivory. No. 5 (depiction of a board and pieces, 27th cent. BC) shows dice sticks, too. Board no. 22 (17th dynasty, ca. 16th cent. BC) includes astragals carved from ivory as well as dice sticks. No. 33 includes a four-sided die in the shape of a frustum/ truncated pyramid (18th dynasty, ca. 16-14th cent. BC).
I haven't looked through the whole catalogue - I want to do that at a later point when I have more time for it.



From the jocari.be database:
Saqqara, tomb of Hesy-Re (3rd dynasty, ca. 2700 BC) - the four longish pieces on the red background are dice sticks.
http://www.jocari.be/proddetail.php?prod=GEN210_tombehesyre
http://www.jocari.be/proddetail.php?prod=je210_senet-03-tomb...

Astragal depictions from the New Kingdom:
http://www.jocari.be/proddetail.php?prod=je210_senet-18-E.27...
http://www.jocari.be/proddetail.php?prod=je210_senet-19-JE27...
http://www.jocari.be/proddetail.php?prod=je210_senet-19-TT21...

Joyce Tyldesley: Egyptian games and sports. Princes Risborough : Shire, 2007. (BBK Präsenzbestand)
Senet (with knucklebones, Astragoloi, stick dice, d2?)
Peter A. Piccione 1980: In Search of the Meaning of Senet. Archaeology, July/August 1980, Pages 55-58. http://www.gamesmuseum.uwaterloo.ca/Archives/Piccione/index....
http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_ob...
Mehen
Benedikt Rothöhler: Ägyptische Brettspiele außer Senet, unveröffentlichte MA-Thesis. Philosophische Fakultät I der Bayerischen Julius-Maximilians-Universität, Würzburg 1997. http://www.boardgamestudies.info/pdf/issue2/BGS2Rothoehler.p...
Tait, WJ; (1998) Dicing with the Gods. In: Clarysse, W and Schoors, A and Willems, H, (eds.) Egyptian Religion, the Last Thousand Years: Studies Dedicated to the Memory of Jan Quaegebeur. (257 - 264). Peeters: Leuven. (Google Books) - about a d6 with gods instead of numbers (or letters) on the faces.

http://www.eloquentpeasant.com/2010/10/14/its-not-just-a-gam...

Finkel volume?
Lex. Ägyptol. - only passing mentions of dice. Refers to knucklebones/ astragaloi shaped from metal.
Oxford encyclopedia of Egyptology (?) - only passing mentions of dice.

https://books.google.de/books?id=Z37cRh9KLCUC&pg=PA13&dq=dic...

http://www.eloquentpeasant.com/2010/10/14/its-not-just-a-gam...

Louvre, Paris: Three throwsticks


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8. System: d20 System
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Ancient Icosahedra: Roman/ Ptolemaic d20s

There are a few ancient d20 (= icosahedron, plural icosahedra or icosahedrons) out there. It is not yet known what these dice were used for. Not necessarily for gaming.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has four (or more): the one shown in the article linked above, and two others from the same source (a 19th century missionary in Egypt):
Twenty-sided die (icosahedron) with faces inscribed with Greek letters, Accession Number: 10.130.1157 (made of Serpentine)
Twenty-sided die (icosahedron) with faces inscribed with Greek letters, Accession Number: 10.130.1158 (made of Serpentine)
Twenty-sided die (icosahedron) with faces inscribed with Greek letters, Accession Number: 10.130.1159 (made of fayence)
and Faience polyhedron inscribed with letters of the Greek alphabet, Accession Number: 37.11.3

Problem is, dating is difficult. All the Met. Museum can guess is "2nd century B.C.–4th century A.D.". That's a span of 600 years, if you hadn't noticed.

A steatite icosahedron from the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) Toronto, G. 1080:

https://twitter.com/KaySunahara/status/1035616928746725376

In 2003, another d20 was auctioned on Christie's (and sold for $18.000):
Roman Glass Gaming Die, Circa 2nd Century A.D. (Sale 1314, Lot 189).
Note that this die was also aquired in Egypt, and that the date given may look more precise compared to the other dice, but it's just guesswork, too, as far as I can tell.

British Museum, Reg. No. 1923,0401.1184: Rock crystal twenty-sided dice, marked X and I on two adjoining faces. Described in Walters: Catalogue of engraved gems & cameos, greek, etruscan & roman in the British Museum (London 1926), Gem 3996.
British Museum, Reg. No. 1891,0624.38: Faceted dice made of stone, inscribed with letters of the Greek alphabet (from alpha to upsilon). - Diameter: 7.62 centimetres (about)
British Museum, Reg. No. 1930,0308.4, Museum No. EA59731: (Four) Polyhedral green glazed composition dice; Greek letter on each face. Curator's comments: Cf. Perdrizet, Jeu alexandrin, BIFAO 30.1, 1-16 and 30.4, pls 1-2.

Another 20-sided object, this one very uneven, was found in the 80s at Qaret el-Muzzawaqa and is now housed in the New Valley Museum at Kharga, Inv. no. 843; excavation no. 309/1. The Muzzawaqa icosahedron is 5 cm high and 6 cm wide. A Demotic Inscribed Icosahedron from Dakhleh Oasis, with reference literature. Also see the additional link in the comments there.
Just skimming the article by Minas-Nerpel: she gives some more references to other icosahedra. If anybody is interested, but has no JSTOR access, write me a geekmail.
Martina Minas-Nerpel: "A Demotic Inscribed Icosahedron from Dakhleh Oasis". Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 93 (2007), pp. 137-148.

And another one (just a reference): A Roman icosahedron discovered

PERDRIZET, Paul: Le jeu alexandrin de l'icosaèdre [avec 2 planches]. Le Bulletin de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale [BIFAO] 30 (1931), p. 1-16. http://www.ifao.egnet.net/bifao/30/

Grenier, Jean-Claude: Un icosaèdre alexandrin. In: EAO [Égypte - Afrique et Orient. Revue égyptologique de diffusion des connaisssances] 6 (1997), pp. 23-27.
Égypte Afrique Orient

The Musée du Louvre tweeted about a Roman crystal icosahedron from their collection:
https://twitter.com/MuseeLouvre/status/716194283913613312
https://twitter.com/MuseeLouvre/status/716200273161678849
(and the Grand Patrimoine de Loire Atlantique answered with a Roman cubic die made from crystal, too.)

Thread: World's Oldest d20

There's an icosahedral metal (bronze?) object in the style of the Roman dodecahedra.

From roughly the same period, other polyhedrals are also known. Their purposes are still unknown.


Other stuff
Roman & Etruscan Dodecahedra, writings by Amelia Carolina Sparavigna (not yet read):
http://stretchingtheboundaries.blogspot.de/2012/12/dodecahed...
https://sites.google.com/site/ancientdodecahedra/etruscan-do...
http://arxiv.org/abs/1205.0706
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9. Periodical: Polyhedron
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Roman Cuboctahedra?

Roman irregular 14-sided shapes, more or less like a cuboctahedron (looks like cubes with each of their 8 corners cut off to form a new triangular face)
http://dicewiki.drnod.de/wiki/Datei%3AKnochen_R%C3%B6misch_v...
(found on this list: http://dicewiki.drnod.de/wiki/Spezial%3ADateien)

http://averweij.web.cern.ch/averweij/an-14.htm (collection of Arjen Verweij)
http://www.xn--wrfelsammler-dlb.de/index.php?action=dicedb&i... (collection of Michael Schäffer)
http://www.xn--wrfelsammler-dlb.de/index.php?action=dicedb&i...

Note that (some of) these are 14-sided shapes that have probably been used as d6 or similar (the first die from the two M. Schäffer links immediately above, ID 5442, shows only three different results: 2,3,4 each twice). Verweij's pieces have only one visible marking. One of his three dice is so corroded that no markings are visible.

Some of them may also have been exigia (singular: exigium) = weights. Compare https://finds.org.uk/database/images/index/institution/SWYOR...

Compare this image from an auction lot, including a few dice with "truncated" edges with "pips" as ornaments on these edge spaces. It is obvious these were not intended as 14-siders.
http://www.hermann-historica.de/auktion/hhm65.pl?f=NR_LOT&c=...


But the following one is actually marked with numbers 1-14:
British museum, Faceted dice made of green stone, inscribed with Roman numerals (Hamilton collection, Reg. No. 1772,0311.250), 1st-2nd century. Also visible next to the rock crystal d6 on this image.

British Museum, Reg.No. 1886,0401.1718: Rock crystal fourteen-sided dice with a hole pierced through two of the larger faces. Walters, H B, Catalogue of Engraved Gems & Cameos, Greek, Etruscan & Roman in the British Museum, London, BMP, 1926, Gem No. 3995. - Villing, Alexandra; Bergeron, Marianne; Bourogiannis, Giorgos; Johnston, Alan; Leclère, François; Masson, Aurélia; Thomas, Ross, Naukratis: Greeks in Egypt, London, BM, 2013, TH.01. ((Walters: SUB 4 ARCH III, 3504 [2] = Dauerleihgabe Arch.; Villing et al., Naukratis - page for this object. Gem 3995))

British Museum, Reg.No. 1963,1115.1

For cuboctahedra from China and Korea, see the East Asia entry.
For much younger cuboctahedra, see farther down (Curiosities).
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10. Board Game: Liubo [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
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Chinese 14-sided die from ca. 300 BC
truncated octahedron
Found together with gaming pieces (possibly for the board game Liu Bo) in a heavily looted 2,300-year-old tomb near Qingzhou City in China.
http://www.livescience.com/52808-ancient-board-game-found-in...
http://archaeology.org/news/3883-151116-tomb-game-die


Chinese 18-sided dice
18-sided Chinese dice are mentioned and illustrated here: http://history.chess.free.fr/liubo.htm
Röllicke: Von "Winkelwegen", "Eulen" und "Fischziehern" - Liubo: ein altchinesisches Brettspiel für Geister und Menschen. In: Board Game Studies 2 (1999), pp. 24-41, PDF; PDF (full issue).

Röllicke mentions the following archaeological findings of dice:
Quote:
6. Provinz Hunan, Kreis Changsha, Mawangdui, Grab 3. Bestattung datiert 168 v. Chr. – 1 vollständiger Satz mit 1 achtzehnseitigen Würfel, ohne Stäbe. – Publ.: Wenwu 7 (1974), S. 45 f.; Illustration in Fu Juyou, Chen Songchang 1992; weitere Analyse von Xiong Zhuanxin 1979: S. 35-39.
10. Provinz Hubei, Kreis Jiangling, Fenghuangshan, Grab 8 und Grab 10. Bestattung datiert 168 v. Chr. – 1 vollständiger Satz mit 6 Stäben sowie 1 achtzehnseitigen Würfel. – Publ.: Wenwu 1974: S. 41-55, besonders S. 50 f.
11. Provinz Shandong, Linzi. Begleitbestattung zum Grab eines Königs von Qi. Westliche Han-Zeit. – 2 achtzehnseitige Würfel. Bronze. Ausgehöhlter Kern mit Silber eingelegt. Im Inneren rollt beim Würfeln ein klingelndes Bronzekügelchen. Abb. bei Sun Ji 1991: S. 395.


One of them was found at Mawangdui (Hunan) in what archaeologists refer to as grave no. 3, alongside what appears to be a complete set of Liubo (also called "bo chess" sometimes). It is from the Western Han (206 BC-25 AD) period, the grave is dated 168 BC. This die is made of lacquered wood and shows the numbers 1-16 and on two opposite faces has the words jiao and qi-wei (“骄” and“妻畏”) respectively. They indicate a favorable and an unfavorable move. (Source: Hunan Provincial Museum)


The other two findings mentioned by Röllicke come from Fenghuanshan, Jiangling, Hubei province (1 die); and Linzi, Shandong (two dice, made from bronze, hollow with something inside to create a jingling noise).

Quote:
Dices used in Liubo game were also unearthed without accompanying boards, such as a tetradecahedron stone dice found in the mausoleum yard of Qin Shihuang at Lintong, Shaanxi and an octadecahedron bronze dice found in attendant pit of Prince Qi of the Western Han Dynasty
at Linzi, Shandong (Figure 13).
(Bai Yunxiang: Archaeological Discoveries and Qin-Han Period Sports and Games, in: Chinese Archaeology 9 (2009), pp. 47-54, quote from p. 51. PDF)


Quote:
A liubo set has been excavated from Fenghuanshan (Jiangling, Hubei, c. 179-141), along with six counting rods and an eighteen-sided die marked with numbers. (Lisa Raphals: Divination and Prediction in Early China and Ancient Greece, 2013, Cambridge Univ. Press, p.45) Google Books


Based on the images available to me, these 18-sided dice can be described as rhombicuboctahedra on which the 18 squares are presented as circular faces, and the eight triangular faces are rounded so that the die cannot come to rest on them.

The Babelstone blog started a series of Liubo articles in 2009 which have not been completed yet. An appendix about 18-sided dice had been announced, too.

In November 2017, a Liubo die sold on ebay for GBP 20,100 (approximately US $26,537), eBay item number: 162736483610. "Antique Chinese Han Dynasty Liubo bronze, Silver and Gold Turquoise inlayed Dice (...) museum quality rare object, to one side are old provenance labels and codes from various collections, dating from the Han Dynasty, excellent colour and patina, the pieces I'm listing this week are all from a small private German collection, every piece is of the finest quality and craftsmanship, this is my connoisseur collection of Chinese art for London asian art week (...). CONDITION// Very Good. SIZE// 3 by 3 CM." (source)

Japanese 18-sided die
not Liubo, but in the context of East Asian gaming balls...
U.Penn. Mus.of.Archaeology and Anthropoloy, obj. no. 21966
Ball die. Ink numerals 1-18. 18 sided ball, carved numbers. Painted brown. Probably ceramic.
https://www.penn.museum/collections/object/44967
 
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11. RPG Item: Atlas of Earth-Prime: East Asia [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Juryeonggu, Korean 14-sided die from the Silla period (about 668 to 935 AD)
‘Juryeonggu (酒令具, tool for drinking manner)’




Found in 1975 in a pleasure pond/ Anapji from the Unified Silla period in the city of Gyeongju/ Donggungjeon(東宮殿). That era was the heyday for this metropolis. The faces of this cuboctahedron give instructions for what seems like drinking and partying activities:

Quote:
· Sam-jan-il-geo (三盞一去) : Drinking three glasses of liquor at one time
· Jung-in-ta-bi (衆人打鼻) : Having one’s nose struck by many companions
· Ja-chang-ja-eum (自唱自飮) : Singing and drinking all on one’s own
· Eum-jin-dae-so (飮盡大笑) : Finishing an entire cup and laughing loudly
· Geum-seong-jak-mu (禁聲作舞) : Dancing alone, with no music
· Yu-beom-gong-gwa (有犯空過) : Staying still without flinching, even when being charged at
· Nong-myeon-gong-gwa (弄面孔過) : Staying still without flinching, even when one’s face is tickled
· Gok-bi-jeuk-jin (曲臂則盡) : Finishing an entire cup while interlocking arms with a companion
· Chu-mul-mak-bang (醜物莫放) : Drinking from a cup without removing something dirty from it (presumably placed there by a companion)
· Weol-gyeong-il-gok (月鏡一曲) : Singing the song “Weolgyeong”
· Gong-yeong-si-gwa(空詠詩過) : Reciting a poem
· Im-eui-cheong-ga (任意請歌) : Asking a companion to sing a song of one’s choice
· Ja-chang-Goe-rae-man (自唱怪來晩) : Singing the song “Goeraeman”
· Yang-jan-jeuk-bang (兩盞則放) : When you receive two cups, drain them immediately.

https://kpopjacketlady.com/2016/12/31/juryeonggu-a-14-sided-...
http://gyeongjulove.blogspot.de/2011/06/casting-14-sided-jur...
National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage (ed.): Sul, Korean Alcoholic Beverages. 2013. page 98 (Google Books)

There's an article that I can't read, but the abstract sounds promising:
14면 주사위를 통해서 본 신라 귀족의 놀이문화 - Recreation culture of the Silla aristocracy seen through 14-faceted dice. 김정숙식별저자
新羅文化 第35輯, 2010.2, 51-78 (28 pages). http://www.dbpia.co.kr/Journal/ArticleDetail/NODE01375959

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12. Board Game Publisher: Astragal
 
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Astragaloi/ tali/ knucklebones

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knucklebones
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astragaloi
Jeremiah Dandoy: Astragali, the Ubiquitous Gaming Pieces. In: Expedition. [Magazine of the members of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology]. Volume 38, Issue 1, March 1996.
http://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/?p=4906
Alexandra Good: Knucklebones. Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum website, no date given.

Barbara Caré: Knucklebones from the Greek Necropolis of Locri Epizefiri, Southern Italy (VI-III century BC). Typological and Functional Analysis, in: ARCHAEOPlus. Schriften zur Archäologie und Archäometrie an der Paris Lodron-Universität Salzburg, 5, 2013 [The Sound of Bones. Proceedings of the 8th Meeting of the ICAZ Worked Bone Research Group in Salzburg 2011]. pp. 87-99. PDF
Ulrich Schädler: Spielen mit Astragalen. In: Archäologischer Anzeiger 1. 1996, S. 61–73. PDF
Ulrich Schädler: Astragalspiele gestern und heute, Teil 1: Geschicklichkeitsspiele. In: Fachdienst Spiel 2. 1997, S. 19–25. PDF
Ulrich Schädler: Astragalspiele gestern und heute, Teil 2: Würfelspiele. In: Fachdienst Spiel 3. 1997, S. 36–43. PDF


Franz Heinevetter: Würfel- und Buchstabenorakel in Griechenland und Kleinasien. Dissertation. Breslau 1912 PDF
Johannes Nollé: Südkleinasiatische Losorakel in der römischen Kaiserzeit. In: Antike Welt 18, 3 (1987) S. 41-49
Johannes Nollé: Kleinasiatische Losorakel. Astragal- und Alphabetchresmologien der hochkaiserzeitlichen Orakelrenaissance, Vestigia Bd. 57, C. H. Beck, München 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-56210-5


Bunch of (glass) astragaloi in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Examples:
http://metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/249807
http://metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/249802

http://metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/253610 (astragal-shaped terracotta vase)

Mentions/ descriptions of knucklebone games:
https://books.google.de/books?id=lfxdAAAAcAAJ&hl=de&pg=PA82#...
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13. RPG Item: European Entertainment [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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For the European history of dice (although certain topics will merit their own chapters, ie. Greek and Roman dice, or specific types like the Zöblitz dice).

Helène Whittaker: Game-Boards and Gaming-Pieces in Funerary Contexts in the Northern European Iron Age. In: Nordlit 20 (2006).
http://septentrio.uit.no/index.php/nordlit/article/view/1802

RGA

Thomas Krueger: Das Brett- und Würfelspiel der Spätlatènezeit und römischen Kaiserzeit im freien Germanien. Göttingen 1982. [Neue Ausgrabungen und Forschungen in Niedersachsen 15]

http://www.kornbluthphoto.com/Dice1.html
http://al-zahr.blogspot.de/2004_12_01_archive.html
https://books.google.de/books?id=2vvBAgAAQBAJ&pg=RA1-PR22&lp...
http://www.forgottenbooks.com/readbook_text/A_Guide_to_the_E...

Sooner or later I'll look more closely at dice (and gaming) in medieval Europe. The study by Tauber and the Religiosus ludens anthology will be among my starting points - personal interests (beyond dice, that is) play a part in this choice, but the books are both reliable.
Walter Tauber: Das Würfelspiel im Mittelalter und in der Frühen Neuzeit. Eine kultur- und sprachgeschichtliche Darstellung. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang 1987.
Jörg Sonntag (ed.): Religiosus Ludens. Das Spiel als kulturelles Phänomen in mittelalterlichen Klöstern und Orden. Berlin: de Gruyter 2013. (English review by Mixson; German review by Jaser)
Link page for Dice Games & Dice at Larsdatter.com
Marianne Erath: Studien zum mittelalterlichen Knochenschnitzerhandwerk : die Entwicklung eines spezialisierten Handwerks in Konstanz. Dissertation, Freiburg 1996. PDF online. URN: urn:nbne:bsz:25-opus-5267 (about medieval dice production)

Interestingly shaped 6-sided dice (less cubical, more rectangular, elongated):
https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/743754
https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/632919
https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/619819
https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/538488
https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/427759
https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/287239

Libro de los juegos (The Book of Games) by Alfonso X "El Sabio":
info page at http://games.rengeekcentral.com/
Sonja Musser: http://www.u.arizona.edu/~smusser/ljtranslation.html" target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">English translation of the text (archived version)
Sonja Musser: Los libros de acedrex dados e tablas: Historical, Artistic and Metaphysical Dimensions of Alfonso X's Book of Games (Univ. of Arizona PhD thesis, 2007). (file repository link)
German translation with commentary: Schädler/ Calvo: Alfons X. der Weise: Das Buch der Spiele. 2009.

Jelmer W. Eerkens & Alex de Voogt: The Evolution of Cubic Dice from the Roman through Post-Medieval Period in the Netherlands. Acta Archaeologica 88(1). 2017. pp. 163-173. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0390.2017.12182.x
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322466782_The_Evolu...
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14. RPG Item: Dice [Average Rating:9.09 Unranked]
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Gambling balls from ca. 17-19th century. Royal Oak Lottery
Sometimes also referred to as teetotums or lotteries.
Many of these are 32-sided and made from ivory.

Zollinger gives a short account of the Royal Oak Lottery and claims that it is a variant of the Catalan lottery game Auca (French Hoca).
Manfred Zollinger: Infam und lukrativ. Das Glücksspiel in der frühen Neuzeit. In: Sabine Haag (ed.): Spiel! Kurzweil in Renaissance und Barock. Ausstellung des Kunsthistorischen Museums Wien, Schloss Ambras Innsbruck. 2016. pp. 19-25, here p. 23 (text) and 24 (image).

Manfred Zollinger. Royal Oak: Lineagen einer englischen Lotterie des 17. Jahrhunderts. Ludica. Annali di storia e civiltà del gioco vol. 15-16 (2009-2010). pp. 73-98. (haven't read this yet)

A print from the late 17th century kept in Amsterdam (Rijksmuseum, RP-P-OB-82.859) shows the game and explains its rules. Here's a detail of the image showing the dice tower (a stylized oak with a crown) and gambling ball at its bottom.


John Locke mentions the gambling balls in passing: "what if an ivory-ball were made like that of the royal-oak lottery, with thirty two sides" ... Locke is thinking about making one with 24 or 25 faces, to teach the letters of the alphabet. (Some thoughts concerning education (1693), section 150)

John Arbuthnot discusses probability, including examples from the Royal Oak Lottery like the 32-sided die, in his Of the Laws of Chance/ Of the Hazards of Game (1692, p. 57-59; 1738 = 4th ed. P. 29f.), a translation/ expansion on Christiaan Huygens De Rationiciis in ludo alea (1657): p. 52f. in the 1751 edition of The Miscellaneous Works of the Late Dr. Arbuthnot, 2nd vol., 2nd edition, with additions (Glasgow: James Carlile).

A. De Moivre: The Doctrine of Chances, 2nd edition, London 1738, preface p. iii:
Quote:
When the Play of the Royal Oak was in use, some Persons who lost considerably by it, had their Losses chiefly occasioned by an Argument of which they could not perceive the Fallacy. The Odds against any particular Point of the Ball were One and Thirty to One, which intitled the Adventurers, in case they were winners, to have thirty two Stakes returned, including their own; instead of which they having but Eight and Twenty, it was very plain that on the single account of the disadvantage of the Play, they lost one eighth part of all the Money they play'd for. But the Master of the Ball maintained that they had no reason to complain; since he would undertake that any particular point of the Ball should come up in Two and Twenty Throws; of this he would offer to lay a Wager, and actually laid it when required. The seeming contradiction between the Odds of One and Thirty to One, and Twenty-two Throws for any Chance to come up, so perplexed the Adventurers, that they begun to think the Advantage was on their side; for which reason they play'd on and continued to lose.


Click the images for more information.
32-sided gambling balls









More, mostly auction house findings
http://www.finch-and-co.co.uk/antiquities/d/a-rare-ivory-eng... (20-sided)
http://www.finch-and-co.co.uk/antiquities/d/ivory-gambling-b... (probably 48-sided)
http://stevenspowers.com/s_teetotum.html
https://twitter.com/DiceCupMuseum/status/531019337734569984
https://www.facebook.com/dice.cup.museum/posts/8462468220642...

24-sided with letters:
http://www.finch-and-co.co.uk/print/124589
http://www.finch-and-co.co.uk/archive/antiquities/d/english-...

32-sided gambling balls, numbers in increments of 5:
http://www.woolleyandwallis.co.uk/Lot/?sale=PG021012&lot=295...
http://stroudauctions.co.uk/auction-date-lots/july-2014/ =
http://stroudauctions.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/A-rar...
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154035799974241&se... (Dice Maniacs' Club, Thomas Dougall)
Matthias Hoschek (Duke of Dice; Dice Cup Museum)
https://twitter.com/DiceCupMuseum/status/707185591423791104 (same pic on facebook)

Searched for info:
John Ashton: The History of Gambling in England. London 1898. (PDF) leafed through Introd. and Chapter III (seemed most promising), but didn't find anything on the shape and actual use of dice.
XY: Sports and Pastimes...
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15. RPG Item: Dungeons On Demand V2L17: For Whom the Bell Tolls [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Chime dice, dice with bells, Singewürfel, Singwürfel

These are hollow dice with small pieces of metal or something similar inside to create a ringing, chiming sound when shaken or rolled.
"Sing(e)würfel" is a German term used at least in the early 17th century and used/ quoted in the 19th, too.
Link to DMC discussion on Facebook

Chinese bronze dice from the Qin dynasty (221 to 206 BC)
C. Cook on p. 138 wrote:
(...) dice from the Western Han King of Qi's tomb in Lince, Shandong Province, were hollow inlaid bronze with little nuggets of bronze inside so that they made a noise when shaken. One was larger than the other, but archaeologists consider them a pair. While archaeologists classify these dice [incl. other dice from Qin and Han tombs described previously, JR] and their use in liubo, and eventually in the drinking game jiuling, as simply accessories in gambling games, the pre-Han religious origins of these games seem clear now that the dice have been found in association with other divinatory implements and religious and legal texts in the Qin tomb of Wangjiatai.

Constance A. Cook (1998): Myth and Fragments of a Qin Yi text. A Research Note and Translation. Journal of Chinese Religions, 26:1, 135-143, DOI:10.1179/073776998805306886

In a list of liubo gaming materials, Röllicke mentions the same pair of dice that Cook describes:
Quote:
Provinz Shandong, Linzi. Begleitbestattung zum Grab eines Königs von Qi. Westliche Han-Zeit. – 2 achtzehnseitige Würfel. Bronze. Ausgehöhlter Kern mit Silber eingelegt. Im Inneren rollt beim Würfeln ein klingelndes Bronzekügelchen. Abb. bei Sun Ji 1991: S. 395.

Röllicke: Von "Winkelwegen", "Eulen" und "Fischziehern" - Liubo: ein altchinesisches Brettspiel für Geister und Menschen. In: Board Game Studies 2 (1999), pp. 24-41, PDF; PDF (full issue).


Inscribed brass d14 from the second half of the 15th century
described by Renate Puvogel: Spielwürfel, in: Ernst Günther Grimme (ed.): Die Schenkung Peter und Irene Ludwig für das Suermondt-Museum. Köln: Dumont 1982 (Aachener Kunstblätter 51), p. 56.
Also discussed by Habel:
Martin Habel: Der Würfel. In: Christiane Zangs/ Hans Holländer: Mit Glück und Verstand. Zur Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte der Brett- und Kartenspiele, 15.-17. Jahrhundert. Katalogbuch zur Ausstellung im Museum Schloss Rheydt vom 29. Juli bis 25. September 1994. Aachen: Thouet 1994, pp. 127-131 (here: 129).


Six-sided silver dice among the various gaming elements of the Pomeranian Kunstschrank
This curiosity cabinet was built ca. 1611-1616 by dozens of Augsburg artisans under the direction of Philipp Hainhofer and gifted to Duke Philipp II. of Pomerania in 1617.
Hainhofer wrote a description of the cabinet and what it contained, mentioning
Quote:
3 große vnd 3 klaine silbere singwirfel mit cymbalis, vnd ain geschmeltzter vexier wirfel mit buchstaben mit diser außlegung: N.A. nimb allain, sclilicet das deine. L.S. laß stehn. T.A. trinkh auß, S.Z. setz zue. N.G. nimbs gar. N.H. nimbs halb (p. 44)

They are part of the lot catalogued under the inv. no. P77 (Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin):
Quote:
Drei große Singwürfel (mit Steinchen gefüllt, so daß sie wie feine Schellen klingen). Silber, die Punkte (zwei konzentrische Kreise) eingraviert. 1,2 cm breit.
Drei kleine Singwürfel, Silber vergoldet, die Punkte sind als bunt emaillierte Blüten gestaltet. 0,8 cm breit.
Vexierwürfel, Silber, die Buchstaben blau emailliert. 1 cm breit. (p. 45)

Quotes are from Philipp Hainhofer: Der Pommersche Kunstschrank. Hrsg.: Julius Lessing/Adolf Brüning. Berlin: Verlag E. Wasmuth, Berlin 1905. For digitized versions see the scan of the Biblioteka Uniwersytecka w Toruniu or the version broken into smaller parts at bibliotheca Augustana.


Another "Singwürfel" from an art cabinet devised by Philipp Hainhofer, this one from the Kunstschrank given to Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden. The cabinet was made ca. 1625-1631 and is now in the possession of the University Museum of Uppsala. Among its original contents (which might be slightly older than the cabinet itself) was a Rhombicuboctahedron (d26) made from brass with numbers and animals etched into the faces.

"(...) en liten polyeder i mässing som da den kastas ger ifran sig ett klingande ljud (i dess inre döljs smastenar e.dyl.)" Hans Olof Boström: Det underbara skapet. Stockholm 2001, p. 248.

In general: "Möglicherweise augsburgisch oder nürnbergisch, wohl aber sicherlich süddeutsch, dürften die Singwürfel sein, deren Material Silber oder Messing ist. Es sind mit Steinchen gefüllte Hohlwürfel, die wie feine Schellen klingen." (Eugen von Philippovich: Kuriositäten, Antiquitäten: Ein Handbuch für Sammler und Liebhaber. 1966, p. 236 (or p. 222?) - via Google Books, not yet checked in print)

Also, hunt down this citation: Quellenschriften für Kunstgeschichte und Kunsttechnik des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit, Band 10 (1901), p. 263
(could be the same as Oscar Doering 1894: Des Augsburger Patriciers Philipp Hainhofer Beziehungen zum Herzog Philipp II. von Pommern-Stettin: Correspondenzen aus den Jahren 1610 - 1619




Ca. 1760, six-sided die, collection of Matthias Hoschek.
Quote:
This pretty old Put & Take single, is made of "german silver" (Nickelsilver) which was used since the late 18th century and was a silver replacement! As antique Silver tarnishes blue-black, the Nickelsilver tarnishes yellowish-brown. You can smell it also on your finger after rubbing the surface! If you watch inside with a lighted magnifying glass, you can see a tiny metal plate!



Indonesian four-sided stick dice "from approx. 1820-1880, hollow bone with a piece of metal (silvernickel) inside" - shown in Dice: Rendezvous with Randomness, by Måns Danneman, Åskfågeln 2017, page 17.

Irving Finkel: Dice in India and Beyond, in: Colin Mackenzie/ Irving Finkel, eds.: Asian Games. The Art of Contest. 2004, pp. 38-45. Image on p. 40 shows dice from India, 19th century, among them two hollow ivory stick dice (four-sided) "that once contained bells", and "a hollow brass metal example with bells". On p. 41 Finkel writes: "Brass dice of the classic kemadi type described in nineteenth-century Ceylon by H. Parker have also been used widely in Southern India for a variety of race games. Shapes vary virtually a ball, through oval examples, to squat bulbous dice with "top knots" at each end, to elongated "cigar-shaped" pieces. Such metal dice usually contain bells, and are conspicously heavy."
, here 40-41

20th or 21st century (?), six-sided, collection of Kevin Cook
http://dicecollector.com/images/info/b4/ae3d1aa4a045ad555fa4...
http://dicecollector.com/images/info/34/c1b18c647bd79cc316da...
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Zöblitzer Spielwürfel
Rhombicuboctahedra (Germany, mostly 19th-early 20th century)

These dice have sometimes been misinterpreted as Roman, and the letters as initials of Latin (instead of German) words. Borhy provides an example and clarification. Several specimen from various museums have been described/ published:

Anon. [Babette Ludowici?], 2010: ...Trink aus! August 2010, Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover. (archived version, alternate archived version, image link working)
Anon. (database entry, no year given): "Spielzubehör", Inventarnr. 1978.1781. Spielzeugmuseum Nürnberg, Virtuelles Depot. - unfortunately not programmed to easily provide permanent URLs for individual objects. link1, link2, link3
Borhy, L., 2003: Berichtigung zu CIL II, suppl. 6246, 8: Ein weiterer “seltsamer Spielwürfel” aus Barcelona. Faventia 25/2, 2003, 173-177. (direct pdf link, alternate link)
Decker, K.-V., 1977: Ein merkwürdiger Spielwürfel aus Mainz. Mainzer Zeitschrift. Mittelrheinisches Jahrbuch für Archäologie, Kunst und Geschichte. 71/72, 1976/1977, 244.
Habel, Martin, 1994: Der Würfel. In: Christiane Zangs/ Hans Holländer: Mit Glück und Verstand. Zur Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte der Brett- und Kartenspiele, 15.-17. Jahrhundert. Katalogbuch zur Ausstellung im Museum Schloss Rheydt vom 29. Juli bis 25. September 1994. Aachen: Thouet 1994, pp. 127-131 (here: 128f.). [two Zöblitz dice: cat. no. B 21 = Köln, Museum für angewandte Kunst, Inv. Nr. B 354; cat. no. B 22 = Jülich, Stadtgeschichtliches Museum (no inv. nr. listed)]
Hofbauer, H., 1987: Ein polyedrisches Spielgerät aus Göttingen. Nachrichten aus Niedersachsens Urgeschichte 56, 417-421.
Hoyer, E. M., 1995: Sächsischer Serpentin. Ein Stein und seine Verwendung. Begleitbuch zur Ausstellung „Marmor Zeblicus – Zöblitzer Serpentinstein. Ein unbekannter Schatz des Erzgebirges“ im Grassimuseum Leipzig, Museum für Kunsthandwerk, vom 24. November 1995 bis 3. März 1996. Leipzig. - I have not yet been able to track this one down and have a look at it.
Noll, R., 1974: Seltsame Spielwürfel. Bonner Jahrbücher 174, 1974, 567-570.
Näther, Ulrike: Würfel mit 26 Flächen. In: Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe (Hrsg.): Volles Risiko! Glücksspiel von der Antike bis heute. Karlsruhe 2008. [Volkskundliche Veröffentlichungen des Badischen Landesmuseums Karlsruhe 9]. Image and short discription of the die from the Museum für Angewandte Kunst Köln; Inv. Nr. B 354.
Schütte, J., 1982: Spielen und Spielzeug in der Stadt des späten Mittelalters. Aus dem Alltag der mittelalterlichen Stadt. Hefte des Focke-Museums 62, 201-210. Bremen.
Stamm, R., 2012: Ein polyedrischer Spielwürfel aus Esens in Ostfriesland. Nachrichten des Marschenrates zur Förderung der Forschung im Küstengebiet der Nordsee 49, 2012 (PDF), 16f.
Sulzer, Ph., 2011: Ein Zöblitzer Spielwürfel aus dem Magazin der archäologischen Sammlung des Niedersächsischen Landesmuseums Hannover. Die Kunde N. F. 61, 2010, 145-154.
F. van Vleuten: Römische Würfel und würfelähnliche Spiele. Jahrbücher des Vereins von Alterthumsfreunden im Rheinlande 57 (1876). S. 191-193. archive.org, Google Books
Wendowski-Schünemann, A., 1995: Ein polyedrischer Spielwürfel aus Cuxhaven. Nachrichten aus Niedersachsens Urgeschichte 64, 149-151.

Published information on private dice of this type:
Anon., 1872: Roman Tessera. In: Notes and Queries. A medium of intercommunication for literary men, general readers, etc. 4th Series, Vol. IX (January-June 1872), p. 240. One J.C.J. asks about what he presumes is a "Roman Tessera". An explanation for the German game is given.
Jojo [Koehler, Johannes], 2012: Ein Rhombenkuboktaeder. [Steinwurf - Der Watchblog, 28.02.2012.] Link to the author's flickr images of the die: TA, NH, LS, ND, NG, SZ, with Lego figure

https://ernstchan.com/b/thread/64749 (dead link, sorry)

And a few from the collection of Jakob Gloger:
https://www.facebook.com/ROVOseum/photos/pb.226476500887954.... (ivory!)
https://www.facebook.com/ROVOseum/photos/a.365901433612126.1...
https://www.facebook.com/ROVOseum/photos/a.365901433612126.1...
https://www.facebook.com/ROVOseum/photos/a.365901433612126.1...
https://www.facebook.com/ROVOseum/photos/a.365901433612126.1...
https://www.facebook.com/ROVOseum/photos/pb.226476500887954....
https://www.facebook.com/ROVOseum/photos/pb.226476500887954.... (with case and game rules)

https://www.facebook.com/ROVOseum/photos/pb.226476500887954.... (bottom left)
http://www.xn--wrfelsammler-dlb.de/index.php?action=dicedb&i... (collection of Michael Schäffer)
http://www.xn--wrfelsammler-dlb.de/index.php?action=dicedb&i... (collection of Michael Schäffer)

The geometrical shape on a portrait of Fra Luca Paccioli (1495) and drawn by L. da Vinci (for his friend Paccioli):
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ALuca_Pacioli_%28Gem...
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ALeonardo_polyhedra.... (1509)

A few specimen sold on ebay (May and August 2015):
http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=4&cam...
http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=4&cam...
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ANTIQUE-c1880-VICTORIAN-AGATE-GAMB...

http://www.auctioart.de/de/alter_rhombenkuboktaeder/l/240114 (auctioned in March 2014)
http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=4&cam...
http://deerbe.com/unt/65644-eigenartiger_vielflchiger_wrfel_...
http://www.hermann-historica.de/de/magischer_wuerfel_aus_ser...
http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=4&cam...
https://lot-tissimo.com/de/i/7503557

3D-printed version: https://www.shapeways.com/product/HEMEHV88F/kuboktaeder-zobl...
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17. Board Game: 32 Dice [Average Rating:6.31 Unranked]
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Crystal Fortune-Telling Ball

About the first half of the 20th century (?), 32-sided dice balls were made from crystal glass and sold as fortune-telling device. I've seen a few sold on ebay. They are numbered in red or gold with 1-30 plus a 0 and double 00, often with "Made in Czechoslovakia" printed around the 0. They were produced in different sizes, see the dicecollector.com link below.
Leo van der Heijdt: Face To Face With Dice, p. 113.

One copy on Ebay had the following printed on the box:
"Reg. by Paramount Bead Corp.
Walther A. Yokel Pres. 209 W. 38th St. New York"

http://dammitja.net/dice/d32.html

http://averweij.web.cern.ch/averweij/czech.htm

http://www.dicecollector.com/THE_DICE_THEME_GLASS.html (scroll down a bit)

It comes up more or less regularly in the DMC group on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiceManiacsClub/permalink/18...
https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiceManiacsClub/permalink/19... (different glass moulds/ manufacturings)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiceManiacsClub/permalink/92... ("The Magic Crystal Ball Tells Your Fortune" packaging)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiceManiacsClub/permalink/14...
https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiceManiacsClub/permalink/20...
https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiceManiacsClub/permalink/20...

Matthias Hoschek (Duke of Dice; Dice Cup Museum) has German versions in his collection. Die Wunderkugel:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.540540125968266.10...
Die Nummernkugel:
https://www.facebook.com/dice.cup.museum/photos/a.6964216637...

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154824524282500&se...
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154824526257500&se...
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18. Board Game: Poker Dice [Average Rating:4.99 Overall Rank:16382]
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Poker dice (dice with playing card insignia on their faces) have been around since sometime in the 1880s. I've seen claims of patents dating to 1881 and 1888, but couldn't verify them so far.
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.games.playing-ca...

"Poker dice" has been used as a name for a poker-style dice game with standard dice (numbered/ pipped 1-6), so if that name is used e.g. in laws against gambling we cannot be sure what sort of dice were used.

In 1891/92 W.J. Florence offers an early description of Poker Dice (with five six-sided dice) in his book on poker. While he assumes players use dice with pips (numbering 1-6), he also mentions that a "new and very pretty kind of poker-dice has recently been manufactured, showing the nine, ten, jack, king, queen, and ace, beautifully enameled. They may be procured at any of the leading houses where sporting goods are sold."
W. J. Florence: Handbook on Poker. 1892 , p. 51-53, (quote on p. 53).

Since then, poker dice have been produced in a variety of shapes.

Quote:
In 1896, The American Stationer (vol. 40, 1896,
p. 224 (Aug. 6), and p. 955 (Dec. 3), and p. 994 (Dec. 10))
mentions that The United States Playing Card
Company has published "poker dice" playing cards.






http://www.dicecollector.com/DICEINFO_POKER_SIDES_EXAMPLES.h...
http://www.dicecollector.com/DICEINFO_POKER_D6.html


8-sided: 8-Sided Poker Dice Game
http://www.dicecollector.com/DICEINFO_POKER_D8.html




12-sided:
http://www.dicecollector.com/DICEINFO_POKER_D12.html

Royal Poker Dice Game


Jimmy the Greek Odds Maker Poker-Dice



"Montana Dice" (10-sided dodecahedrals, so to speak)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiceManiacsClub/permalink/16...

Dawson Price on Facebook wrote:
...that was what they were marketed as by K.C. Card Company. H.C. Evans also sold them, but marketed them as “California Dice”. The pictures I have attached with this post are a set of dice that I have. The picture of the California Dice are from a 1942 H.C. Evans Catalog I have. The picture of Montana Dice from a 1943 K.C. Card Co. catalog that I have.
As for age I would guess from mid the 1930’s to 1949. How am I coming up with this date range? Reaching out to other collectors of gambling equipment and supply catalogs I was able to find California Dice in a 1935 H.C. Evans catalog. I have a 1950 K.C. Card Co catalog that does not have them in it.
There are 5 dice to the sets. The dice are 10 sided with (2) round ends number1-5. The way they were used in pretty much the same fashion as typical poker dice. You just have a chance at different straights (Aces through king instead of A-9 on a typical D6 poker die). As a side note this same style of die is used for the Bank clearing or Stock Exchange dice that were made around the same time. The poker dice are just about ¼” smaller.
They are made of celluloid or sometimes referred to as French ivory. I have seen these come up at physical and online auctions and called ivory. The couple of times that I’ve seen able to attend live auctions where they were being offered they have all turned out to be celluloid. I won’t say that true ivory sets of these dice don’t exist, but find it very unlikely.

Compare these 10-/12-sided poker dice:
https://www.facebook.com/ROVOseum/photos/a.371688329700103.1...


There are also 10- and 14-sided poker dice.
http://www.dicecollector.com/DICEINFO_POKER_D10.html
http://www.dicecollector.com/DICEINFO_POKER_D14.html
http://www.dicecollector.net/JA/d14_game_Rola_Poka.jpg

In 1934 ROVO (Erich Röber Apparatebau, Leipzig) started manufacturing mechanical poker dice machines.
Sources: Das Echo: Mit Beiblatt Deutsche Export Revue. Wochenzeitung Für Politik, Literatur, Export und Import, Band 53, p. 100. link1, link2,
ESG page on ROVO with image of flyer/ catalogue page from 1934 showing the poker dice machine, and history told by grandchild of the founder of ROVO. link3


http://www.dicecollector.net/JB/POKER.HTM
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19. RPG Item: The Strange [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:483]
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Curiosities, Oddities

British Museum, Reg. No. 1912,0516.6: Bone dice of rhombohedral form. Greek/ Roman (?), Excavated/Findspot: Villa of Boscoreale (Europe,Italy,Campania,Naples (province),Boscoreale,Villa of Boscoreale)

U. Penn. Mus. of Arch.: Bar dice. 3 dice joined together, evidently unfinished block. Numerals incised except for one end.
https://www.penn.museum/collections/object/74168

There is a rhombic dodecahedron from Ptolemaic times in the Musée du Louvre, Paris (Inv. AF 897), with greek letters most likely giving the numbers from 1-12.
Kevin Cook has a reproduction in his collection. It is also mentioned and shown in an illustration by PERDRIZET (1931, BIFAO 30) and in Jouer dans l'antiquité (published by Musée d'archéologie méditerranéenne (Marseille, France), 1991), with Google yielding a textual mention on p. 196 which seems to give details for an image nearby.

A 19-sided die from Greek or Roman antiquity is mentioned in the entry on Tessera in the Dictionnaire des Antiquités grecques et romaines, ed. by Saglio. Paris: Hachette 1873ff. Vol. (?), p. 128. The reference given is:
Dé en pierre rouge trouvé à Carthage, Héron de Villefosse, ib. (= Bull. Soc. des Antiq. de France) 1902, p. 174.

A 24-sided alphabet die in the collection of Paul Canellopoulos, described by Jean-Yves Empereur: Collection Paul Canellopoulos (XVII). Petits objets inscrits, in: Bulletin de correspondance hellénique Année, Vol. 105,1 (1981), pp. 537-568, here p. 562. I assume this die is housed (and maybe on display) in the Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Museum (Athens, Greece).
http://www.pacanellopoulosfoundation.org/en/grants/the-paul-...


In medieval times, few games employed 7-sided dice.
http://thomasguild.blogspot.de/2012/10/the-game-of-four-seas...
http://www.gothicgreenoak.co.uk/dice.html
Other (similarly rare) games used 5-sided or 8-sided dice (also mentioned by Alfonso X. in his Libro de los juegos).

Barrel shaped die, 19th cent. England
http://www.finch-and-co.co.uk/archive/antiquities/d/english-...

d14 (heptagonal deltahedron/ bipyramid) from 1937
http://www.dicecollector.com/D14_THE_HIGH_ENERGY_COMPANY_DUB...

German Put & Take d14 (cuboctahedron), probably from the first half of the 20th century:

https://www.facebook.com/duke.of.dice/photos/a.1405033473127...

https://imgur.com/gallery/g3Ns4 (various)

Zanzibar poker d'As, probably from the first half of the 20th century:
http://maxdice.ru/photoalbums/26250#img-45307604.7un1lvmdbf....
http://maxdice.ru/static/img/0000/0004/5307/45307604.7un1lvm...
https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiceManiacsClub/permalink/10...


For the hollow Roman dodecahedra see Benno Artmann; etc.
http://artefacts.mom.fr/fr/result.php?id=DOD-4001&find=DOD&p...
https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/246648
https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/719549

The following truncated sphere is claimed to be a d12, but it looks like it could actually be 14-sided to me:
It is from medieval times, from the Musée de Cluny (source):

Also mentioned and shown on the blog of the Saint Thomasguild: "A 12-sided dice made from walrus ivory. So far, no games with 12-sided dice are know from medieval times. Even Alphonso the wise did not invent this dice (as he did with the 7- and 8-sided dice). The die uses Roman numerals. Cluny CL22739."
Also shown here: http://art.rmngp.fr/fr/library/artworks/de-a-jouer_ivoire-de...
http://photo.rmngp.fr/archive/08-546199-2C6NU0TXZI39.html

cf. images in this article by Jean-Michel Mehl: link1, link2

Jean de Meun: Le Dodechedron de fortune/ Le plaisant jeu du dodechedron de Fortune
http://www.historytoday.com/dunia-garcia-ontiveros/treasures...
http://houghtonlib.tumblr.com/post/83815249271/a-medieval-fo...
https://thesaurus.cerl.org/record/cnp00395338
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k6363565k
https://books.google.de/books?id=tVQ-AAAAcAAJ
https://archive.org/details/gri_33125009319043
http://luna.folger.edu/luna/servlet/detail/FOLGERCM1~6~6~646...:-Plaisant-jeu-du-dodechedron-de-for

This one looks fascinating, too:
https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/124803
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20. Board Game: Teetotum [Average Rating:2.25 Unranked]
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Teetotum, Totum, Dreidel...

Dreidel
Put & Take Game
Put and Take Dice

Alice Bertha Gomme: The Traditional Games of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Vol. II. Oats and Beans-Would you know. London, David Nutt, 1898, p. 303f. (archive.org)


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teetotum



for now, just collecting a few links


http://lovecollecting.org.uk/19th-century-twelve-sided-teeto...
http://18thcand19thc.blogspot.de/2014/04/teetotum.html?m=1
http://www.antiquegamblingchips.com/putandtake.htm
http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-origin-of-the-dr...
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category%3ADreidels


Spinners are a small universe unto themselves, and I've practically no idea what's out there.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1197263940368757&set...
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154818783699241&se...
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1290842580936283&set...
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1290842524269622&set...
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1290684144285460&set...
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155121915369241&se...
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155168202804241&se...
http://www.donaygames.com/archive_product_details.php?id=106...
http://www.donaygames.com/archive_product_details.php?id=107...
http://www.donaygames.com/archive_product_details.php?id=107...
http://www.donaygames.com/archive_product_details.php?id=108...
http://www.donaygames.com/product_details.php?id=10499
http://www.donaygames.com/archive_product_details.php?id=107...
http://www.donaygames.com/archive_product_details.php?id=108...
http://www.donaygames.com/archive_product_details.php?id=107...
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21. RPG Item: Fantasy RPG Design Challenge Round 1: Playing at Sticks [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Stick Dice with more than four sides
various terms are in use: long dice, rolling dice, barrel-shaped dice, hexagonal/octagonal prism dice

Two-sided and four-sided stick dice are relatively common throughout history. Stick dice with more than four sides are a bit more rare.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_dice

5-sided stick dice

Korea, Tjyong-Kyeng-To, The Game of Dignitaries, and Nam-seung-to, View-winning game.
S. Culin: Korean Games (1895), p. 77f. (archive.org), Mus. Arch., Univ. Penn. No. 16899
S. Culin: Chess and Playing-cards (1898), p. 820f. (archive.org)

6-sided stick dice
a. Antiquity up to early modern times
7th cent. BC, Sparta, spindle-shaped votive dice for Eileithyia/ Artemis Orthia, mostly bronze
Mus. Sparta, Inv.Nr. 1698/1-3, 2147, 2187, 2423

Imma Kilian: Weihungen an Eileithyia und Artemis Orthia, in: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 31 (1978), 219-222 & Taf. 6-8.
3863562


Wace, A., Thompson, M., & Droop, J. (1909). I.—Excavations at Sparta, 1909: §6.—The Menelaion. The Annual of the British School at Athens, 15, 108-157. doi:10.1017/S0068245400017573 (here: page 146f., and plates 8,13 and 9,11.12)

Droop, J. (1907). I.—Excavations At Sparta, 1907: § 5.—The Early Bronzes. The Annual of the British School at Athens, 13, 109-117. doi:10.1017/S0068245400002847 (p. 115f., fig. 5)

Lamb, W. (1927). Excavations at Sparta, 1927: § 6.—Notes on some Bronzes from the Orthia Site. The Annual of the British School at Athens, 28, 96-106. doi:10.1017/S0068245400011114 (p. 103f., fig. 5)

Hondius, J., & Woodward, A. (1921). I.—Inscriptions. The Annual of the British School at Athens, 24, 88-143. doi:10.1017/S0068245400010108 (p. 102f.)




Maurizio Bettini: Women and Weasels. Mythologies of Birth in Ancient Greece and Rome. Translated by Emlyn Eisenach. Univ. of Chicago Press, 2013. p. 62 (Google Books).

also mentioned passingly in Maria Gennimata: Artemis und der Weg der Frauen von der Geburt bis zur Mutterschaft am Beispiel von Kulten auf der Peloponnes. Diss. Würzburg 2006, p. 150. (PDF), urn:nbne:bvb:20-opus-85198


uncertain dating: British Museum, Reg. No. 1871,0910.2: Bone hexagonal dice; it is grooved around inside edge at both ends as if for a screw.

b. Modern times
Owzthat, pencil cricket
Southeast Asia (19th century): In his article on "Dice in India and Beyond", Irving Finkel mentions six-sided rollers, but no eight-siders. (publ. in: Colin Mackenzie/ Irving Finkel, eds.: Asian Games. The Art of Contest. 2004, pp. 38-45, here 40-41.)
Six Sided Sailors Scrimshaw Carved Whalebone Dice (1800 to 1900 English) (Finch & Co)
Probably for playing the game of hazard
Mid 19th Century
Size: 6cm long, 1cm dia. – 2¼ ins long, ⅓ ins dia.

Japanese, replica in U.Penn.Mus.Arch., obj. no. 21307A, original in Leiden: https://www.penn.museum/collections/object/289032


8-sided stick dice
a. Antiquity up to early modern times
uncertain dating: Berlin, Kgl. Museum (mentioned in Guhl/ Koner)
late medieval (?): example in bone, possibly later reused as a knife handle, from Hornsea, Yorkshire, UK, published in East Riding Archaeologist Volume 9, 1997, in an article by Ruth Head, "The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Hornsea", Fig 33.
uncertain dating: https://finds.org.uk/database/search/results/q/LANCUM-E6101
Uncertain dating: Michaelsen also refers to another 8-sided die, the "log", as described by S. Culin - this one did have points for the numbers 1-8.
"Log", S. Culin: Chess and Playing-cards (1898), p. 823 (archive.org) - Cat. No. 7134, Mus. Arch., Univ. Penn.

b. Modern times
A Curious Carved Whalebone and Baleen Inlaid Octagonal Rolling Log Dice (1800 to 1900 Europe) (Finch & Co)
Probably made and used by sailors on board ship
Old smooth patina
Early 19th Century
Size: 6cm long, 1.5cm dia. – 2 ins long, ½ ins dia.
Indian Moghul Carved and Stained Ivory Barrel Shaped Eight Sided Gambling Dice (1800 to 1900 India) (Finch & Co)
Marked with Dots from 1 to 8
Early 19th Century
Size: 8cm wide, 2.5cm dia. – 3 ins wide, 1 ins dia.

Coll. of James Wallis, bought in the late 1990s, could be ivory, seller claimed it was made by a French prisoner-of-war during the Napoleonic Wars, probably out of mutton-bone. https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiceManiacsClub/permalink/13...
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153890362551937&se...
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153890362546937&se...
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153890362541937&se...

20th century: 8-sided rolling log from K.C. Card Co. (link to catalogue scans on dicecollector.com, p. 34 in Blue Book 431 and Blue Book 500, p. 49 in Blue Book 560). Catalogue description:
Quote:
Controlled Rolling Logs
These logs are made of polished transparent celluloid. Easy to handle with positive control. Roll high or low or red or black whenever you wish with our instructions.
No. 901 Transparent Celluloid Rolling Log, 5/8x2 inches
No. 902 Fair to Match

http://www.dicecollector.com/THE_DICE_THEME_K_C_CARD_CO.html
http://dicecollector.com/images/large/ce/eb9afce0fd5b908d962...




See also info about Long Lawrence: Item for Geeklist "Random Facets from the History of Dice"
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22. Board Game: True Trivia of Lawrence County [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Long Lawrence (Laurence)/ Lang Larence

a four-sided or eight-sided stick die with non-numeric markings, used for a Put & Take game
According to Easther (see below) also called Long lorren, Long lawrent, Lorrimer in West Yorkshire.
It has four different sides, one marked with crosses, one with two strokes, another with a single stroke, and the fourth with five or six slanted strokes (zigzag line). The double and single strokes may be repeated three times on their respective faces:
XXXXXXXXXX
|| || ||
| | |
/\/\/


1) Oldest references

a) Already known in the 17th century (four-sided): Francis Willughby’s Book of Games. A Seventeenth-Century Treatise on Sports, Games and Pastimes. Edited and introduced by David Cram, Jeffrey L. Forgeng and Dorothy Johnston. Ashgate 2003. p. 127. Willughby's Book of Games is from the 1660s and was left unfinished when Willughby died in 1672.
b) Also referenced in the comedy "The Cheats" by John Wilson, written 1662, first printed 1664 (Bidell/Collins/Adams, London), in act IV, scene I: Titere Tu asks Bilboe: "Did not I (if you are yet cool enough to hear truth) teach you, your Top, your Palm, and your Slur?—Shew'd you the mystery, of your Jack in a Box, and the frail Dye?—Taught you the use of Up-hills, Down-hills, and Petarrs?—The Waxt, the Grav'd, the Slipt, the Goad, the Fullam, the Flat, the Bristle, the Bar; And generally, instructed you from Prick-penny, to Long Lawrence? And is the question now, Who is beholding?" (online source, p. 46 of the print) - I got this reference from Cram/ Forgeng/ Johnston = the Willughby editors.
c) I also found a quote by Aphra Behn, in the preface to her The Dutch Lover (1673): "but really methinks they that disturb their heads with any other rules of Playes besides the making them pleasant, and avoiding of scurrility, might much better be imploy'd in studying how to improve men's too too [sic!] imperfect knowledge of that ancient English Game which hight long Laurence" (source, archive.org) This is usually interpreted as an idiom denoting idleness, but I believe it could at least also carry the connotation of the put & take game of chance, and maybe that is even the primary meaning. The earliest reference (as given by the OED, see below) for "Laurence" as part of a phrase that means "being idle/lazy" is from 1796.

2) Academic or folkloristic references
Alfred Easther: A Glossary of the Dialect of Almondbury and Huddersfield, ed. Thomas Lees, London, Trübner & Co., 1883, p. 76 (archive.org)
Alice Bertha Gomme: The Traditional Games of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Vol. I. Accroshay-Nuts in May. London, David Nutt, 1894 p. 326f. (archive.org) (quoting from Easther, Glossary of Almondbury...)
S. Culin: Korean Games (1895), p. 78 (archive.org) (quoting from Gomme/ Easther)
S. Culin: Chess and Playing-cards (1898), p. 822f. (archive.org) - Cat. No. 175659, U.S.N.M.
J. Wright, The English Dialect Dictionary... vol. 3: H-L. p. 651
Wright, EDD wrote:
LONG-LAWRENCE, sb. Yks. Nhp. Sus. Also in forms lang Larence w.Yks.3; lang Lawrence w.Yks.1; leng Lawrence w.Yks.; long Larence Nhp.2; long Lawrent, long Lorren w.Yks.3
1. In phr. to have been got hold of by long Lawrence, to be idle.
w.Yks. I see Leng Lawrence has getten howd on tha, Prov. in Brighouse News (Sept. 14, 1889); w.Yks.1, Nhp.2 e.Sus. Holloway.
2. An instrument used in playing a game of chance; see below. Cf. lorrimer.
w.Yks.3 An instrument marked with signs, a sort of tee-to-tum,... something like a short ruler with eight sides; occasionally they have but four.
(etc., this is again a direct quote from Easther's Glossary)

H.J.R. Murray, A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess, 1952 (re-issued 1978), p. 9 barely name-drops it in a single sentence: "The English 'long Lawrence' was an eight-sided prism."
Peter Michaelsen: On some unusual types of stick dice, in: Board Game Studies 6 (2003), pp. 9-24, here p. 14.
Leo van der Heijdt: Face to face with dice. Utrecht: Gopher 2005, p. 104. Van der Heijdt describes the Long Lawrence briefly, but gives no sources (and they are not obvious from the bibliography, either). He includes several claims, e.g. that these dice were wooden, used in medieval England, and are considered as the predecessor of the 8-sided spinner numbered 1-8. Each of these claims needs (but sorely lacks) references.

3) Specimens

Bronze Long Lawrence, eight-sided, coll. of Matthias Hoschek: http://dukeofdice.blogspot.de/2015/03/long-lawrence_22.html and https://www.facebook.com/pg/dice.cup.museum/photos/?tab=albu...
Bone Long Lawrence, four-sided, coll. of Thomas Dougall.
Univ. of Penn. Museum of Arch.
https://www.penn.museum/collections/object/137257

Modern:
https://www.thehistoricgamesshop.co.uk/onlineshop/prod_30069... (four-sided)
http://www.dicecollector.com/THE_DICE_THEME_OLD.html
http://dicecollector.com/images/large/52/86f0d30bcf221a89cb1... (eight-sided)
http://dicecollector.com/images/large/8c/91e7bd49090502d7d4f... (four-sided)

4) (Long) Laurence in idioms meaning idleness
"Long Lawrence" is part of the idiom "Long Lawrence has got hold of s.o.", meaning that person is idle. Source: William Holloway, A General Dictionary of Provincialisms, 1840, p. 104
A bit broader is the entry in the OED (online):
Quote:
Laurence | Lawrence, n.2
A Christian name, used to denote a personification of indolence. Laurence bids wages: a proverbial phrase meaning that the attractions of idleness are tempting. Also Lazy Laurence, a reproachful designation for an idle person.

Possibly the alliteration of the last-quoted phrase may sufficiently account for the use of the name; some, however, have suggested an allusion to the heat prevalent about St. Laurence's day (Aug. 10). Another conjecture is that there was a joke to the effect that when the martyr St. Laurence told his tormentors to turn him round on his gridiron, it was because he was too lazy to turn himself. It is important to note that the equivalent German der faule Lenz (Lenz = Lorenz) has been in use from the 16th c.; see Grimm s.v. Lenz.
1796 S. Pegge Anonymiana (1809) 348 Laurence bids wages; a proverbial saying for to be lazy; because St. Laurence's day is the 10th of August, within the dog-days, and when the weather is usually very hot and faint.
1821 J. Clare Village Minstrel II. 23 When..the warm sun smiles And ‘Lawrence wages bids’ on hills and stiles.
1880 T. Q. Couch E. Cornwall Words in M. A. Courtney & T. Q. Couch Gloss. Words Cornwall He's as lazy as Larence. One wad think that Larence had got hold o'n.

"bar me the happiness of kissing long Laurence" (Swift) - not sure if this belongs here?

It is to be expected that individuals might be referred to as "Long Laurence" for various reasons, e.g. being tall and named "Laurence", or being known for idleness. It still is intriguing when this moniker comes up in context that may include gambling, like in this treatise on rogues and rogueries in England: Martin Mark-All, Beadle of Bridewell; His defence and Answere to the Belman of London. London: Iohn Budge, and Richard Bonian 1610. By "S.R.", sometimes attributed to Samuel Rowlands, more often thought to be by Samuel Rid (Wikipedia entry). A few pages into the section titled "The Runnagates Race, or the Originall of Regiment of Rogues", the author talks about "Lawrence Crosbiter, the first inventer of crosbiting". This man was also called "long Lawrence". The text makes no reference to either dice, games, or gambling, nor to the character being particularly idle. It is unlikely that this person has anything to do with the dice I'm searching for, but it shows that the phrase "long Lawrence" was in use as a name (and needed no explanation or remark to disambiguate it) in London around 1610.

Robert Greene also discusses "crosbiting" at the end of the 16th century, without mentioning "long" Lawrence Crosbiter:
A notable discouery of coosenage Now daily practised by sundry lewd persons, called connie-catchers, and crosse-byters
Greene, Robert, 1558?-1592.
 
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23. RPG Item: ...And Then There Were Ten [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Ten-sided dice

Early dice with ten sides: Mason & Co: Mason's Stock Exchange Dice ca. 1938? (pentagonal dodecahedra with half spheres on two opposing sides)
Kevin Cook: "These ... are likely the oldest D10's ever made" http://www.dicecollector.com/THE_DICE_THEME_SPECIAL.html
http://dicecollector.com/images/large/19/fe95f8e779036ef89fd...

1949: 10-sided "barrel" dice described by Hamaker in a paper on random number generating:
A simple technique for producing random sampling numbers.
By H. C. Hamaker. KONINKLIJKE NEDERLANDSCHE AKADEMIE VAN
WETENSCHAPPEN, PROCEEDINGS OF THE
SECTION OF SCIENCES 52 (1949), pp. 145-150.
http://www.dwc.knaw.nl/toegangen/digital-library-knaw/?paget...



Ad in The Space Gamer (Issue 36 - Feb 1981), p. 8:

https://archive.org/stream/space-gamer_201601/Space_Gamer_36...

Decader, "Deckaider", percentile dice: a pair of ten-sided dice, one marked 0-9, the other 00-90, producing results from 00-99 (00 to be read as 100), simulating a d100. Presumably hit the market in the mid 80s?
Craig A. Tucker (DMC) is researching this.

Due to the prevalence of the decimal system, "early" twenty-sided dice of the rpg era (and probably of the wargaming era, I assume) were numbered 0-9 twice, sometimes distinguished with a plus or minus, I think. These were d10s, but they were not ten-sided (they had 20 resting positions).
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24. RPG Item: A Lump of Coal [Average Rating:6.51 Unranked]
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Collecting various bits and pieces. They may develop and grow into their own small "chapters" on this list, who knows?

interesting 20-sided shape (based on a 6-sided prism?):
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154998120404241&se... (Thomas Dougall)

Don Handelman and David Shulman: God inside out. Śiva's Game of Dice. Oxford Univ. Press 1997. http://lccn.loc.gov/96021214

http://www.dicecollector.com/THE_DICE_THEME_SPECIAL.html
http://www.dicecollector.com/THE_DICE_THEME_OLD.html

Platonic solids in ancient Greece: Euclid attributes the discovery of the icosahedron to Theaetetus. (See "The Discovery of Regular Solids" by William C. Waterhouse in Archive for History of Exact Sciences, Vol. 9, No. 3, 30.XII.1972).

http://www.jocari.be/search.php?scat=130&sman=1&pg=1&nobox=t...
http://savevsdragon.blogspot.de/2011/11/brief-history-of-pol...

Franziska Naether: Die Sortes Astrampsychi. Problemlösungsstrategien durch Orakel im römischen Ägypten. [Orientalische Religionen in der Antike 3] Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2010. p. 318ff.
https://books.google.de/books?id=HT-rMHbIgZoC&pg=PA318#v=one...
(The oracle text of Astrampsychus doesn't work with dice, but is an interesting window into divination practices. Naether briefly refers to dice oracles, too. Also see http://purplemotes.net/2015/04/19/oracles-astrampsychus/)

Franziska Naether: Divination oder Glücksspiel? Casino Royale im Turmhaus? Sechs Würfel aus Tuna el-Gebel. (in preparation?)

Franziska Naether: Umgang mit Dissens – Orakelfragen und weitere divinatorische Techniken aus Tuna el-Gebel. In: Flossmann-Schütze, Mélanie C.; Hoffmann, Friedhelm; Schütze, Alexander (ed.): Tuna el-Gebel. Eine ferne Welt. Konferenz in München, 16.‑19. Januar 2014 (in Vorbereitung)

https://books.google.de/books?hl=de&id=JRlqSTCh06kC&dq=naeth...

http://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/three-throwsticks

Orient (Other) ((that's unfairly unspecific))
Ulrich Hübner: Spiele und Spielzeug im antiken Palästina
Petra, city of games http://nabataea.net/games1.html
Eva Strommenger: Habuba Kabira: Eine Stadt vor 5000 Jahren : Ausgrabungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft am Euphrat in Habuba Kabira, Syrien (Sendschrift der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft), von Zabern, 1980, ISBN 3-8053-0449-8.PDF (workshop for game boards mentioned p. 56 = p. 64 of the PDF)

Stewart Culin: Chinese games with dice and dominoes (1895)


Modern history of polyhedrals
http://playingattheworld.blogspot.de/2013/02/how-gaming-got-...
http://20facesoffate.com/throwback-thursday-zazz-polyspheres...

Icosahedrals by the Japanese Standards Association
http://20facesoffate.com/throwback-thursday-the-oldest-moder...
Reviewed Work: Random Number Generating Icosahedral Dice (20-face Dice) by Japanese Standards Association
Review by: C. B. Tompkins
Mathematics of Computation
Vol. 15, No. 73 (Jan., 1961), pp. 94-95
Published by: American Mathematical Society
DOI: 10.2307/2003109
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2003109


From a ghazal attributed to Avicenna/ Ibn Sina:
اجل نرد بازست و ما مهره ایم
فلک کعبتین و جهان تخت نرد
ajal nardbaz ast wa-ma muhre im
falak ka'batayn wa-jihan takht-e nard

DE: Das Schicksal ist der Spieler, wir Figuren nur, der Himmel
Das Würfelpaar, und diese Welt das Spielbrett, drauf wir weben. (Hermann Ethé: Avicenn als persischer Lyriker, in: Nachrichten von der Königl. Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften und der Georg-Augusts-Universität zu Göttingen, 1875, pp. 555-567, here No. 15, p. 566f.)
EN: Fate is the player. We the counters are.
Heaven the dice, our earth the gaming board. (Franz Rosenthal, referencing H. Ethé, in: Rosenthal, Gambling in Islam, 1975, p. 161)

The Americas
http://experimental-prehistory.blogspot.de/2014/02/pre-colum...

http://www.nativetech.org/games/bowl&dice.html
http://www.minnesotahumanities.org/resources/American%20Indi...
James V. Rauff: Native American Dice Games and Discrete Probability. nasgem.rpi.edu/files/1686
Stewart Culin: Games of the North American Indians. https://archive.org/details/gamesofnorthamer00culirich
Eyman, .Frances"American Indian Gaming Arrows and Stick-Dice" Expedition Magazine 7.4 (July 1965): n. pag. Expedition Magazine. Penn Museum, July 1965 Web. 17 Mar 2017 <http://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/?p=1038>; (also as PDF)
http://www.arapaholegends.com/arapaho-dice-game-early-gambli...
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/12/101210-dice-...
https://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/ahc/dolores_archaeological/d...

Modern:
"Di-ciphering" set of 5 dice with a three-digit number on each face (for magic tricks): http://www.jsommer.com/math_islands/?p=82
Quote:
In 1927 Royal V. Heath marketed a magic effect called “The Di-Ciphering Trick” based on a math trick developed by Ed Balducci (1906-1988); a New York City magician and civil engineer by day.


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