Friday, April 15, 2011

Three Millenia Old D6

Reading the book "Did God Have a Wife?" I came across a report of an excavation of a 9th-century-BC d6. It is exactly like the ones we use today - the layout of the spots is the same, and the layout of the sides (with opposite sides adding up to seven) is the same. The design of the modern d6 is known to be almost three millenia old. Not only that, according to "Life in Biblical Israel," this may be an example of the type of divining dice known as "Urim and Thummim." The Urim and Thummim were 2d6? Holy crap. No... Holy craps. (Thank you. I'll be here all week.)




7 comments:

Jeff Rients said...

I did not realize the design for d6's was so ancient. That's cool. However, I'm not convinced by the suggestion that the Urim and Thummin were 2d6. I'll definitely go back over the scant evidence, but my gut reaction is "no way, dude". Still, I'd say it's more likely than Joseph Smith's magic spectacles.

JZ said...

It would definitely be cool if the Urim and Thummim were dice. Really funny actually, given the level of speculation about them.

Ed H said...

The Urim/Thummim thing is much more a fascinating possibility than an kind of certainty.

We've got evidence that Israelite holy places contained standard d6's, and we know the Urim and Thummim were *some* kind of divinatory device. Those are facts. The rest is speculation. :)

Theodric the Obscure said...

Heh. The ephod was the original Crown Royal bag...

Yeah, I recently stumbled on this reading about Hindu history. The actual oldest dice are 5,000 years old and found in this odd ancient site in Persia called the Burnt City, but scholars seem to think they may have arrived there from an origin in the Harrapan civilization, where they are prevalent among the artefacts.

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Philippe PM said...

Ph PM France,
I tell you, URIM ve THUMMIM are the first dies in the human History.
But in fact they are not D6 as we know them actualy, but D5 ...
Those 2 antics dies, are a logic creation between egyptian scribes and mittani scribes, after the weeding of Amenhotep III with Gilu-Hepa around 1380 before JC.
The monotheism start after this magic invention.
Amenhotep IV is Akhenaton.
Watch AB litho veritas blog...
May be you can find more surprises...