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The history of dice

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more informations in Wikipedia article Dice#History

Astragalus, bones, 1600 BC., Thames UK

table of contents

  1. General
  2. The ancestors of the die
  3. The first dice board games
  4. Credits

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 housings can land on 2 sides and are binary cubes, so to speak. (d2)
Mostly from bone with 4 sides on which markings are attached. (d4)
These are knucklebones from the hind legs of cloven-hoofed animals such as sheep, goats or cattle. The rare narrow sides included 1 (Kos) and 6 (Chios), the broadsides 3 (back) and 4 (belly) (W4)

Cowrie Snail


The first dice board gamesThe first dice board games