Bone die

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From Sty Wick Bay, Sanday, Orkney

Postcard of Bone die.
© National Museums Scotland

Bone die

This bone die was found at Sty Wick Bay on Sanday in Orkney. It provides evidence of leisure activities between 200 BC and 400 AD.

The oblong die has dots on four of its sides. The die is an irregular shape, so it could not have been used like a modern one. Instead, it would have been thrown onto a soft surface where it would embed, giving all four numbers an equal chance.

From an early period, people in Scotland used objects made from bone, antler and similar materials in almost every area of daily life. Bone and antler were easy to find and easy to work, producing light, strong and flexible objects.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-038-001-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.GA 964
Date: Between 200 BC and 400 AD
Material: Bone; oblong; with dots on four sides
Dimensions: 1.75" x 0.50"
What: Die
Where: Scotland, Orkney, Sanday, Stacwick Bay
Description: Bone die, parallelepiped, from Stacwick Bay, Sanday
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