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.
 

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.
 
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