Bronze dodecahedron from Roman Period

Montero

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Another of those fun pop-up articles.

I'm leaning towards the masterwork explanation - because I own an 6 sided solid machined metal cylinder, which was an apprentice test piece. It had to be fitted inside a six sided hole in another metal cylinder - both ways up so 12 variations - and the fit was tested with measuring shim. The apprentice lost 1 mark for every thousandth of an inch they were out.
 

M. Robert Gibson

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Isn't it obvious? We just need to find the others to make up the full set

dnddice.jpeg


Roll 11 to continue
 

Pyan

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I reckon they're a Roman version of this:

download.jpg
except all the other pieces have been lost or misidentified...

Or as it says "each face has a hole of varying diameter." how about a gauge for arrow shafts, or similar?
 

Montero

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The article did say the hole size isn't consistent between the dodecahedron - in the part about was it a surveying tool.

But yes, a gauge would be a useful thing.
 

J-WO

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Whatever they were used for we can safely say it wasn't anything that directly concerned the writers of all the Roman literature that comes down to us. So upper class free men likely had no interest. Such a pricey object rules out slaves too. So you're looking at the military, rich free women, skilled workmen or an organised faith. Which, admittedly, is a very wide group.
 

BAYLOR

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Could be like bead components for a necklace. :unsure: :(
 

Elentarri

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Don't you use something like that for making thread or knitting sausages from scratch (before modern machines)?

I'm surprised the archaeologists didn't go with the default "used for religious purposes".
 

Pyan

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Don't you use something like that for making thread or knitting sausages from scratch (before modern machines)?

I'm surprised the archaeologists didn't go with the default "used for religious purposes".
Or the other default term: 'ritual object'...;)
 

Christine Wheelwright

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I was going to say its a gauge of some kind. But it is too complex for that. You could make the gauge out of a flat piece of metal much more easily. The rangefinder idea actually makes a lot of sense. The three dimensional nature ensures the user's eye is positioned at a regulated distance from the opposite hole (which is important). The object is sized to match an eye socket. It looks like it may have been intended for construction rather than artillery. The holes seem too large to be helpful in working out whether the enemy is 100 or 200 paces away. Maybe its good for working out the height of a wall from a known number of paces away. This doesn't explain the little bumps though,
 

Elentarri

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Or someone was bored and buggering around? experimenting? How many of these things did they find?
 

Ursa major

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"Knitting with a Roman Dodecahedron": So it is a ritual object after all.
 

BAYLOR

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This could a type of Roman Yatze board Game. .:D
 

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