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Bone die. The spots consist of two concentric circles. The 1 is opposite the 2, the 3 opposite the 4, and the 5 opposite the 6.
© UASD / J. Mangin ; J.-F. Goret ; J. Boulanger ; Th. Sagory


Object reference no. : 11.218.65
Date : 14th century
Material : bone
Place of discovery : discovered in a waste pit, ZAC. RU in the Basilica sector
Dimensions : sides measure between 8.8 and 9.6 mm
Gaming dice

Description : At the end of the medieval period, a new rule was applied to the way the spots were arranged on a die. Prior to the 13th century, dice were all made the same way, with the 1 opposite the 2, the 3 opposite the 4, and the 5 opposite the 6. After the 13th century, most dice were made so that each pair of opposing sides added up to 7, i.e. with the 1 opposite the 6, the 2 opposite the 5, and the 3 opposite the 4. This new arrangement was not systematically followed at first, and it was only in the early modern period that it was definitively put in place. A number of manufacturing scraps testify to the presence of dice-makers in Saint-Denis starting in the 16th century. Analysis of these scraps has allowed archaeologists to determine the successive steps in dice-making, starting with the bones from the butcher.
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