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Author Topic: 2000 year old D20 from Egypt? What's your favorite set of dice?  (Read 406 times)

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Offline MoralineTopic starter

2000 year old D20 from Egypt? What's your favorite set of dice?
« on: January 01, 2013, 11:26:16 AM »
2000 year old D20 from Egypt? What's your favorite set of dice?

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/120587-New-York-Museum-Boasts-2-000-Year-Old-Ancient-Egyptian-d20
Quote
The die is made of a mineral called serpentine, an ultramafic rock fairly common to ancient architecture and sculpture. The carvings on each face are Greek in origin-there's pretty clearly a lambda, delta, beta, theta, and some others in the pictures-which depending on context can either represent a letter or number. Unfortunately, we're not exactly (sure) how this particular die was meant to be used, but do know the Egyptians were pretty significant gamers, as far as ancient civilizations go.



The Escapist museums source for the article: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57547697-1/ancient-d20-die-emerges-from-the-ashes-of-time/?subj=news&tag=title

Offline Oniya

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Re: 2000 year old D20 from Egypt? What's your favorite set of dice?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 12:08:52 PM »
I loved seeing the cries of 'Photoshop!' get squashed by a link to the museum's own archives.

Offline MoralineTopic starter

Re: 2000 year old D20 from Egypt? What's your favorite set of dice?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 12:48:32 PM »
I wonder what sort of game that they played? I don't really know much about ancient Egyptian society.

Do you think it was a gambling game or maybe some sort of imagination based game (maybe even more like our RPG's?)

I like to think it was a story telling game, where fate (the d20) decided the outcome of the story.

Offline PrettyKittyToy

Re: 2000 year old D20 from Egypt? What's your favorite set of dice?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2013, 12:52:44 PM »
i think that last theroy not only sounds most possible, but also sounds interesting... hmm... *starts think on how to use that in my next D&D run*

Offline RedPhoenix

Re: 2000 year old D20 from Egypt? What's your favorite set of dice?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2013, 12:56:37 PM »
Now I want to write a story about gamers in Ancient Egypt pretending to be people in modern times.

Offline Star Safyre

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Re: 2000 year old D20 from Egypt? What's your favorite set of dice?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2013, 12:59:03 PM »
I'm thinking they weren't created for games, but for religious reasons.  The shape is one of the Platonic Solids that were sacred in the beliefs of Pythagoreanism (yeah, the Pythagoras' theorem guy).

Offline PrettyKittyToy

Re: 2000 year old D20 from Egypt? What's your favorite set of dice?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2013, 01:01:27 PM »
Now I want to write a story about gamers in Ancient Egypt pretending to be people in modern times.
nice.
now you got me thinking that...
annnd... ancient Egyptian D&D anyone?
"you get bit by asp. roll for poison check*

Offline Oniya

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Re: 2000 year old D20 from Egypt? What's your favorite set of dice?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2013, 01:02:34 PM »
Divination would be my guess, but it isn't all that far from divination devices to games of chance (after all, the Tarot cards evolved into our modern sets of playing cards.)

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: 2000 year old D20 from Egypt? What's your favorite set of dice?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2013, 01:13:44 PM »
I was also thinking divination/religious purposes.  The letters would possibly be used for divining the future etc... or they just invited Scattergories before anyone else.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 01:22:06 PM by Silverfyre »

Offline Chris Brady

Re: 2000 year old D20 from Egypt? What's your favorite set of dice?
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2013, 12:31:17 PM »
Divination would be my guess, but it isn't all that far from divination devices to games of chance (after all, the Tarot cards evolved into our modern sets of playing cards.)
If I remember right, Tarot cards were also used for gambling and games before the became divination devices.  I could also be mixing the timeline.

But thanks for showing that, Mora, that's really cool!

Offline MoralineTopic starter

Re: 2000 year old D20 from Egypt? What's your favorite set of dice?
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2013, 01:47:12 PM »
I figured the gamers and the Anthropologists among us would enjoy that article. I actually stumbled on it from a totally unrelated link that someone else had put up.

I wonder if the D20 was a religious type game? Or something like a Jewish Dreidel?