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 gamesThe first dice board games
- 3100 v. Chr. Senet Spiel
- 2600 v. Chr. Oldest confirmed dice. Pyramidal d4s found in the board game, the Royal Game of Ur from ancient Sumeria. Source: Brittish Museum.
- 3000 BCE: Oldest confirmed dice found in a dig site in Turkey along with other game pieces. Date cited as “near” 3,000 BCE — could be a bit less. Source: Discovery News.
- 3000 BCE: Holes are found punched into clay floors in the Mexico Tlacuachero site, similar to modern dice game score boards. Source: National Geographic.
- 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.
- 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
- 1765 Stamp Act 1820 tax stamp? 1890 Krone und Federn
- 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