The history of dice
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more informations in Wikipedia article Dice#History
Stick die, bone, 400-700 BC, Egypt
Stick die, bone, Bulgaria
Stick die, Ivory, Roman, Lebanon
Stick dice, bone, 324-640 BC, Egypt
The history of the dice goes back more than 5000 years to the past.
Many discoveries are controversial and there are no exact sources.
Here is just a rough overview with many source references to read.
The ancestors of the die
The first dice board games
- 3150 BC: The Senet game
- ~3000 BC: Oldest confirmed dice found in a dig site in Başur Höyük, Turkey along with other game pieces.
- 2650 BC: Oldest confirmed dice (4 faces).
- 2000 BCE: Cubical dice found in Egyptian tombs. Source: Encyclopedia Britannica.
- 1333 BCE: Knucklebones — primitive dice shaped like animal bones — found in Tutankhamen’s tomb. Source: Egyptian Museum Cairo
- 1188 BCE: Approximate date that Sophocles said dice were invented by Palamedes during the siege of Troy. Source: Encyclopedia Britannica.
- 900 BCE: Tuscania dice found near Rome. Cubical dice with standard pip markings. Source: Board and Table Games from Many Civilizations
- 600 BCE: Cubical dice found in Chinese excavations. Source: Encyclopedia Britannica.
- 400 BCE: Oldest written records of dice, in the Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata. Source: Encyclopedia Britannica.
- 300 BCE: Oldest d20 from Egypt dated from the Ptolmaic period. Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- 150 BCE: Egyptian d12 found from the Ptolmaic period. Source: Dicecollector.com
- 100 AD: 2nd oldest 20-sided die. This ancient Roman d20 sold at auction for $17,925 in 2003. Source: Christie’s
- 1000 AD: Dice buried in Viking grave mounds. Source: Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Volume 14
- 1600 AD: Dice first subject to mathematical analysis by Galileo and Girolamo Cardano. Probability mathematics conceived. Source: Encyclopedia Britannica.
- 1765 Stamp Act 1820 tax stamp?
- 1888 AD: 8-sided poker dice. Source: Dicecollector.com
- 1906 AD: 10-sided dice patented in the US. Source: US Patent Office
- 1950 AD: Oldest plastic d20, numbered 0-9, patented by Tokyo-Shibuara Electric Company. Source: Dicecollector.com
- 1974 AD: Dungeons & Dragons published and sells a set of polyhedral dice. D20 numbered 0-9 and no d10. Source: our memory.
- 1980 AD: At GenCon the first 10-sided dice claimed to have been invented. Source: our memory.
- 1985 AD: The zocchihedron, d100 is released. Source: US Patent Office
- 1890 Krone und Federn
They used astragali to roll.
more informations in Wikipedia article Senet
Pyramidal d4s found in the board game, the Royal Game of Ur from ancient Sumeria.
more informations in Wikipedia article Royal Game of Ur
- A Complete History of Dice
- Rollin’ Bones: The History of Dice
- History of Gaming: Dice
- Awesome Dice: History of Dice
- Jonas Richter: Random Facets from the History of Dice
- The History of Dice Reflects Beliefs in Fate and Chance
- Arjan Verweij: Knucklebone dice
- Arjan Verweij: Stick dice