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Roman dodecahedron

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman dodecahedron
Roman dodecahedron

Roman dodecahedron. Looking in such a way artefacts dated to the 2nd/3rd century CE were found throughout Europe from England to Hungary, but most often in today’s France and Germany. To date, however, their function and utility have not been established.

They were made largely of bronze, less often of stone. They are from 4 to 11 cm in diameter, hollow inside, they consist of 12 five-pointed walls with a hole on each of them. They have the form of a pentagon. Artefacts were found in Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Hungary.

We do not have any records that could indicate the function of the items. However, there is no lack of theory and speculation on this topic. It is believed that the dodecahedron could have been: a candlestick (wax was found inside one of the artefacts), a dice, a device for determining the appropriate date of sowing grain, a tool for calibrating water pipes or a standard legion tool, a toy or simply a geometric sculpture. Among these speculations, some deserve attention.

Most specialists support the theory that the dodecahedron was a tool used on the battlefield to determine the trajectory of a bullet fired from artillery. A large number of researchers agree that this could also be a geodetic tool. Others think that with the help of the dodecahedron, one could study the sky and stars. In Britain, it is believed that the subject could be used by druids in Britain and Caledonia for religious rituals. However, these are only speculations. We do not have any evidence or guidance for the use of these artefacts.


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