It is safe to say that there are secrets of ancient Roman civilization that even a century of close study will not reveal to us. Meanwhile, historians and archaeologists often discover artifacts that are confusing. One such object is the Roman dodecahedron.
This is a hollow bronze decahedral puzzle with twelve flat pentagonal faces – a riddle. Nothing is known about its purpose. But there are some hypotheses that have been put forward since its first discovery over 300 years ago.
The strange discovery made all antique dealers tense, but there was no need to worry – there were more on the way.
Most dodecahedrons are between four and eleven centimeters in size and weigh between 35 and 580 grams. Each pentagonal surface contains a hole, but the sizes of these holes almost always vary. Each of the five vertices has a ball-shaped button.
Some appeared in theaters and tombs, others among piles of discarded coins. Many historians have also found these items from antiquarians, making it difficult to trace their provenance.
Each object discovered later differed in size and design.
In 2016, 116 dodecahedrons were discovered on the territory of modern Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland. A single piece of silver was found in Geneva.
Interestingly, as far as we know, dodecahedrons do not exist in the Eastern Roman Empire.
Those found in the western region date back to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th centuries AD. The randomness of their location, as well as the lack of a written context, has further puzzled historians.
They are full. They are scattered all over Europe and they are still a mystery. What could these little things mean? What were they made for?