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Taking the diary way OT (I can't post videos where I am, otherwise I'd be--posting music videos!)

Dice were probably originally made from the ankle bones (specifically the talus or "astragalus") of hoofed animals (such as oxen), colloquially known as "knucklebones", which are approximately tetrahedral. Modern Mongolians still use such bones, known as shagai, for games and fortunetelling. In addition to bone, ivory, wood, metal, and stone materials have been commonly used. Recently, the use of plastics, including cellulose acetate and bakelite, is nearly universal. It is almost impossible to trace clearly the development of dice as distinguished from knucklebones, because ancient writers confused the two. It is certain, however, that both were used in prehistoric times.

Dice have been used throughout Asia since before recorded history.

The oldest known dice were excavated as part of a 5000-year-old backgammon set, at the Burnt City archeological site in south-eastern Iran. Excavations from ancient tombs in the Harappan civilization,[4] seem to further indicate a South Asian origin. Dicing is mentioned as an Indian game in the Rig Veda, Atharva Veda[5] and Buddha games list. It is also mentioned in the great Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, where Yudhisthira plays a game of dice against the Kauravas for the northern kingdom of Hastinapura.


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed May 14th, 2008 at 07:30:02 AM EST
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