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Between the sacred and the mundane: The largest collection of ancient dice found in Israel – near the Western Wall

Use of dice for board games was very common in Roman times. This finding teaches us how close and how dangerous the border was between these two worlds.
Right before the holiday of Purim, when Haman wished to determine the fate of the Jewish nation by a throw of dice, it is very exciting.  The Jewish chain of generations comes full circle yet again.
According to Antiquities Authority Tehilla Friedman, who researched the dice: “The ancient dice are amazingly similar to those in use nowadays. Though they are made of bone rather than plastic, the marking system is similar to the one used now.  In Roman times, use of dice in board games was very common.  Finding dozens of dice teaches us that in the interval between battles, or between building a structure to paving a road, the soldiers, and later also the citizens of Roman Jerusalem, known as Aelia Capitolina, found time to have fun enjoy games.

Photography: Yaniv Berman, Antiquities Authority

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