Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5959bf8d4d-599mq Total loading time: 0.319 Render date: 2022-12-08T03:21:47.519Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Article contents

A Dice Tower from Richborough

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2010

R. E. Cobbett
Affiliation:
Bishopsbourne, Canterbury, r.e.cobbett@hotmail.co.uk

Abstract

The dice tower, or pyrgus, an ancient device for rolling dice, was an everyday object in the Roman world, but up to now only two towers, from Germany and Egypt, have been found. In re-examining a group of bone box-casings from Richborough Roman Fort, however, the author has found that some of these casings must have belonged to such a tower. This article shows how this dice tower may have been constructed. The author also summarises the literary and artistic evidence for dice towers, and shows how the rosette decoration on this tower links it to the Roman game of Duodecim Scripta.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © R. E. Cobbett 2008. Exclusive Licence to Publish: The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Austin, R.G. 1938: ‘A Roman game-board from Holt, Denbighshire’, Archaeologia Cambrensis 93, 250–3Google Scholar
Bushe-Fox, J.P. 1949: Fourth Report on the Excavation of the Roman Fort at Richborough, Kent, Research Report Society of Antiquaries London 16, LondonGoogle Scholar
B., Cunliffe 1968: Fifth Report on the Excavation of the Roman Fort at Richborough, Kent, Research Report Society of Antiquaries of London 23, LondonGoogle Scholar
Emery, W.B., and Kirwan, L.P. 1938: Royal Tombs of Ballana and Qustul, CairoGoogle Scholar
Emery, W.B. 1948: Nubian Treasure, LondonGoogle Scholar
Finkel, I. 1995: ‘Board games and fortune telling: a case from Antiquity’, in de Voogt, A. (ed.), New Approaches to Board Games Research: Asian Origins and Future Perspectives, IIAS working papers series 3, Leiden, 6472Google Scholar
Goessler, P. 1932: ‘Das frühchristliche Beinkästchen von Heilbronn’, Germania 16, 294–9Google Scholar
Grainger, G., and Henig, M. 1983: ‘A bone casket and relief plaque from Mound 3 at Sutton Hoo’, Medieval Archaeology 23, 136–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Greep, S.J. 1983: Objects of Animal Bone, Antler, Ivory and Teeth from Roman Britain, unpub. PhD thesis, Cardiff universityGoogle Scholar
Hartley, E., Hawkes, J., Henig, M., and Mee, F. (eds) 2006: Constantine the Great – York's Roman Emperor, yorkGoogle Scholar
Horn, H.G. 1989: ‘Si per me misit, nil nisi vota feret. Ein römischer Spielturm aus Froitzheim’, Bonner Jahrbücher 189, 139–60Google Scholar
Johnson, S. 1970: ‘The date of the construction of the Saxon Shore fort at Richborough’, Britannia 1, 240–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Johnson, S. 1979: The Roman Forts of the Saxon Shore, LondonGoogle Scholar
Levi, D. 1947: Antioch Mosaic Pavements, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
MacGregor, A. 1984: Bone, Antler, Ivory and Horn: the Technology of Skeletal Materials since the Roman Period, LondonGoogle Scholar
Maxfeld, V.A. (ed.) 1989: The Saxon Shore: A Handbook, ExeterGoogle Scholar
May, R. 1991: Jouer dans l'Antiquité, MarseilleGoogle Scholar
Murray, H.J.R. 1952: A History of Boardgames Other Than Chess, OxfordGoogle Scholar
Myres, J.W.L., and Green, B. 1973: The Anglo-Saxon Cemeteries of Caistor-by-Norwich and Markshall, Norfolk, Research Report Society of Antiquaries London 30, LondonGoogle Scholar
Parlett, D. 1999: The Oxford History of Board Games, OxfordGoogle Scholar
Roes, A. 1963: Bone and Antler Objects from the Frisian Terp Mounts, HaarlemGoogle Scholar
Salomonson, J.W. 1965: La mosaïque aux chevaux de l'antiquarium de Carthage, The HagueGoogle Scholar
Salzman, M.R. 1990: On Roman Time, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
Schädler, U. 1995: ‘Scripta, Alea Tabula - new evidence for the Roman history of backgammon’, in de Voogt, A. (ed.), New Approaches to Board Games Research: Asian Origins and Future Perspectives, IIAS working papers series 3, Leiden, 7398Google Scholar
Schoppa, H. 1953: ‘Ein fränkisches Holzkästchen aus Weilbach’, Germania 31, 4450Google Scholar
Strzygowski, J. 1888: Die Calenderbilder des Chronographen vom Jahre 354, Jahrbuch DAI Erg.-1 (Suppl 1), BerlinGoogle Scholar
Török, L. 1988: Late Antique Nubia. History and Archaeology of the Southern Neighbour of Egypt in the 4th-6th c. AD, Antaeus 16, BudapestGoogle Scholar
Wheeler, R.E.M., and Wheeler, T.V. 1932: Report on the Excavation of the Prehistoric, Roman, and Post-Roman Site in Lydney Park, Gloucestershire, Research Report Society of Antiquaries London 9, LondonGoogle Scholar
Zehnder, F.G. (ed.), 1999: 100 Bilder und Objekte. Archäologie und Kunst im Rheinischen Landesmuseum Bonn, KölnGoogle Scholar
1
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

A Dice Tower from Richborough
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

A Dice Tower from Richborough
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

A Dice Tower from Richborough
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *