A part of a mysterious artifact ``Roman hollow dodecahedron'' made more than 1600 years ago is discovered in Belgium


Hadley Paul Garland

One day in 2022, amateur archaeologist Patrick Schuermans discovered a mysterious piece of metal in the cultivated land of Cortessem , a town in northern Belgium. This piece of metal turned out to be part of a mysterious artifact called ' Roman hollow dodecahedron ' and was donated to the museum.

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Over the past 200 years, in countries such as England, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, mysterious artifacts made of stone and bronze called 'Roman hollow dodecahedron' have been discovered. The picture below is the 'Hollow dodecahedron of Rome' actually held in the museum. The size is about 4.5 to 8.5 cm, and each apex has a strange protrusion, and each face has a large hole and the inside is hollow.


Hadley Paul Garland

And below is a picture of a piece of metal found in the cultivated land of Cortessem in 2022.

Another piece of metal was also found. Although they are only fragments, they were found to be part of a Roman hollow dodecahedron upon investigation, and were donated to the

Gallo-Roman Museum in Tongeren, Belgium.

It is not known exactly when the hollow dodecahedron of Rome was made, but it is speculated that it was made by people in the Roman period because it was excavated from the stratum around the 1st century to the 4th century. I'm here. However, although nearly 120 specimens have been confirmed in various parts of Europe so far, its use is unknown because there is no documentary explanation.

Initially, the Roman hollow dodecahedron was part of a weapon, later theories that it was a tool for deciding when to plant crops, and a tool for playing games such as dice. The theory that it was used to measure the distance has been advocated. Guido Creemers, curator of the Gallo-Roman Museum, said in an email to the scientific media Live Science, 'The use of the hollow Roman dodecahedron has long been seen in calendars, surveying instruments, and symbols of authority. There are various hypotheses, but none of them are convincing.'

Creemers and many other archaeologists believe that the Roman hollow dodecahedron was not a ritual object, used clandestinely for mystical activities such as divination and magic forbidden under Christianity. I'm guessing not. ``These activities were not permitted and the penalties for violators were severe,'' Creemers argued. ``This is probably why no literature sources can be found.''

The fact that Roman hollow dodecahedrons have never been found around the Mediterranean Sea or further south, but only in the northwestern part of the Roman Empire, also suggests that they were used in rituals in areas of

Gaul and Celtic influence. It suggests that the Also, the fracture surface seen in the metal piece discovered this time seems to suggest that the dodecahedron was intentionally broken during the ceremony.

Many Roman hollow dodecahedrons were held in private or museum collections before their existence was known, but this case also has archaeological value in that the exact location of its discovery is known. there is. According to Mr. Creemers, subsequent archaeological surveys have also discovered fragments of murals from cultivated land, and there is a possibility that a Roman villa once existed. In a statement, the Flemish Heritage Agency said: 'Thanks to the correct working method of metal detectors, archaeologists have for the first time been able to know the exact location of a hollow Roman dodecahedron in Flanders. This will be the subject of further research. will open the door to the

by Carole Raddato

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