This databases content is maintained by Michael Schäffer. All knowledge is gathered from the dice community, and credited in each article. Please credit appropriately. For the latest dice related news, join us at the Dice Maniacs' Club.

data protection


collector index
all pages
new articles
Article in work

The history of dice

Here is something to do!

more informations in Wikipedia article Dice#History

Astragalus, bones, 1600 BC., Thames UK

table of contents

  1. General
  2. The ancestors of the die
  3. The first dice board games
  4. Credits

Stick die, bone, 400-700 BC, Egypt

Stick die, bone, Bulgaria

Stick die, Ivory, Roman, Lebanon

Stick dice, bone, 324-640 BC, Egypt


The history of the dice goes back more than 5000 years to the past.
Many discoveries are controversial and there are no exact sources.
Here is just a rough overview with many source references to read.

The ancestors of the die

The housings can land on 2 sides and are binary cubes, so to speak. (d2)
Mostly from bone with 4 sides on which markings are attached. (d4)
These are knucklebones from the hind legs of cloven-hoofed animals such as sheep, goats or cattle. The rare narrow sides included 1 (Kos) and 6 (Chios), the broadsides 3 (back) and 4 (belly) (W4)

Cowrie Snail


The first dice board gamesThe first dice board games