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Die Date unknown (possibly 10th-15th centuries), Fustat (medieval Cairo), Egypt Bone Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, 1962.1.104


In addition to various gaming pieces, carved bone dice such as this one were found in the archaeological excavations at Fustat (medieval Cairo). The numerals are marked by a series of concentric circles, and they include numbers one through five, with the final side of the cube bearing twelve circles. Dice could be used in virtually any game requiring a chance drawing of numbers, chief among them backgammon.

Bibliography: Bacharach and Rodenbeck 2002, 34; and Scanlon 1968; 1964.

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