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These knucklebones from the Hellenistic period, from roughly 2,300 years ago, were recently unearthed in central Israel in an area closely connected with the First Temple period. Source: Israel Antiquities Authority

2,300-year-old Knucklebones Used for Divination Found In Israel

Scientists in Israel have discovered ancient animals' knucklebones used to foretell the future and as a form of spiritual protection in the wild and unpredictable ancient world. They were also the...
Backgammon as depicted from the 14th century Codex Manesse. Source: Public domain

The 5,000-Year-Old Ancient History of Backgammon

Despite its modern popularity, not many know that backgammon is actually one of the oldest board games known to man. The story of backgammon stretches back 5,000 years and around the globe, spanning...
Evidence of ancient gambling is shown on this 540BC ceramic illustrating Achilles and Ajax playing dice.	Source: Nick Thompson / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Gods and Gambling in Ancient Greece

When you talk about gambling usually your mind goes to casinos, baccarat, roulette, lottery, dice etc. But have you ever thought about when or how gambling first originated? The fact is that some...
The Iron Age “Game of Mercenaries” likely inspired the popular Viking age board game called ‘Hnefatafl.’ Source: Olga Makukha /Adobe Stock

Researchers Find Relics from an Iron Age ‘Game of Mercenaries’

Archaeologists excavating a burial in Norway have made a discovery that is offering a unique insight into Iron Age games and pastimes. They found evidence of a board game that was modelled on a...
Four-sided die from a Roman game found in Norway.            Source: University of Bergen

Rare Roman Game Die Unearthed At Norwegian Burial Cairn

In April 2020, Norwegian archaeologists from the University Museum of Bergen were excavating the remains of a small Early Iron Age burial cairn near the village of Ytre Fosse, overlooking Alversund...
A fourteen-sided die may have been used to play the ancient game of “bo”.

Mysterious board game found in ancient Chinese tomb, along with suspected dead looter

Looters seem to have rolled the dice and lost when they plundered the tomb of an ancient aristocrat in Qingzhou City, China. When archaeologists uncovered the 2,300-year-old tomb, they found pieces...
This Medieval dice has two 4's and two 5's but no 1 or 2. Archaeologists believe that it was likely used to cheat while gambling. This photo shows the two 5's.

An Altered Past: Modified Dice Tells Tales of Medieval Gambling in Norway

Is it true cheaters never prosper? Archaeologists believe that a 600-year-old wooden dice found in Norway was used in Medieval gambling. It was apparently a prized possession of a shifty player, who...
George Catlin, Tchung-kee, a Mandan Game Played with a Ring and Pole", 1832-3.

Ancient North Americans Played High-stakes Games

University of California, Santa Barbara From games of chance to tests of physical skill, ancient North America Indians took their sport and recreation seriously, research shows. “Games are ubiquitous...
These Roman dice are not the sum of opposite sides of seven and are not symmetrical.

It's not how you play the game, but how the dice were made

Whether at a casino playing craps or engaging with family in a simple board game at home, rolling the dice introduces a bit of chance or "luck" into every game. We expect dice to be fair, where every...