Who Invented Dice?

I hope you weren't looking for a one sentence answer to the question who invented dice. You won't find one here. I'm not about to claim "Bob invented dice" and leave it at that.

No one has identified the one person or culture who invented dice….but we’re sure glad they did!

It seems as though lots of people in various parts of the world discovered dice on their own. The partial list of dice happy ancestors includes ancient Egyptians, Mayans, and Chinese, Indians, Native Americans, Vikings and other early civilizations.

For a fun romp through the history of dice, I recommend that you read the book, Dice: Deception, Fate and Rotten Luck. Ricky Jay's book may not answer the question who invented dice but it is full of entertaining, historical anecdotes. As a bonus, the book also gives you 13 gorgeous photos of ancient dice taken by Rosamond Purcell.

Still, I don’t think archaeologists are devoting their resources to answering this question once and for all. They’re interested in discovering the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull….oh wait, that’s Indiana Jones, isn’t it?

Ultimately, the question leaves a lot to the imagination.

I like to imagine it was a young farmer or sheep herder. Early man was eager to use every part of an animal for food, clothing, tools or weapons. I imagine this herdsman had no use for a small, silly ankle bone.

So he picked one up. He tossed it. He watched it tumble across the ground with wonder.

He decided to do it once more…just for fun!

Whoever made the first dice roll in the history of mankind, I say thank you. We owe you a debt of gratitude for centuries of fun and games.

Dice on Display

Black and Red Gemini Dice

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