Roman Bone Die




Charlotte Britton

For #FindsFriday this week we have a tiny die recovered from a possible burial at a site in Newcastle. The die is carved from bone, almost cuboid in shape and has incised ‘ring and dot’ pips on each face. All the sides are very smooth, and as expected, the pips on opposite sides add up to 7, a convention that was first introduced in the Roman period; from when this example likely dates. It appears that the die was burned at some point after it was carved, indicated by its very white appearance and delaminating texture. Dice often turn up during excavations as they have been a part of human recreational activity for a long time. They were not, however, only used in games of chance, but were also used to choose between different courses of action. #rollthedice
Measurements; 6mm x 6mm x 7mm

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