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   xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Dec 15 10:39 PM

Dec 16th, 2016: Dodecahedron

Strange objects, nobody knows what they're for.

Quote:
Dating from around 200 AD, the Roman dodecahedron is a small hollow object made of bronze or (more rarely) stone, with a
geometrical shape that has twelve flat pentagonal faces, each with a circular hole in the middle. All sides connect into a
hollowed center. They were also embellished with a number of knobs at each corner point of the pentagon.

Ranging from 4 cm to 11 cm, over 100 of these fascinating looking objects have been found in various European parts of the
Roman Empire. The focus of findings of the dodecahedrons has been in central modern Europe or todayís France and southwest
Germany.

Quote:
As no classical accounts or narratives seem to mention them, the purpose of this mysterious object remains a puzzling mystery
that has confused archaeologists since their first discovery. In the course of the years, several different theories have been
formulated, attempting to clarify the use of the dodecahedron.

Speculated uses include candlestick holders (wax was found in one of them), flower stands, staff or scepter decorations,
a fortune telling devices, a bludgeon, a childrenís toy, dice, or a measuring device (more precisely as a range measuring object
on the battlefields). However, the most widely-held theory is that they were religious artifacts, based on the fact that most of
the examples have been found in Gallo-Roman sites (one such object was found in a womanís burial ground).
I don't know why there's a spider in the middle one.

link


lumberjim  Friday Dec 16 12:54 AM

It's just one of those shapes that existed before we were there to observe it. It's like a pyramid or a cube. Is there a 3D hexagon?



footfootfoot  Friday Dec 16 07:55 AM

99% certain the boffins are over-thinking it. They are probably just ornamental like gazing balls or obelisks. Or else they are Time Lord technology.







The one on the left has different sized holes, I bet that is significant.



Snakeadelic  Friday Dec 16 08:37 AM

The one on the far right also appears to have varying hole sizes, and a huge hole without any incised border near the "bottom".



footfootfoot  Friday Dec 16 09:06 AM

There is a video at the bottom of the link showing how someone used one to knit a glove. I'd be curious for our knitters to weigh in on this. It seems a little more complicated than just knitting in the normal fashion but I don't knit sew I don't know. (sorry)



Pi  Friday Dec 16 10:02 AM

I'm more than certain that it's an early sex toy...
Come on :
- candlestick holders (wax was found in one of them),
- staff or scepter decorations,
- bludgeon
- measuring device
- religious artifact (one such object was found in a woman’s burial ground).



footfootfoot  Friday Dec 16 10:18 AM

4cm-11cm not much of a sex toy.



sexobon  Friday Dec 16 11:16 AM

Attachment 58850
Canteen cup.

Attachment 58851
Canteen cup stove (6.5 cm high).

Attachment 58852
Canteen cup nestled in stove.
Precise fit so tapered cup slides only so far down into open stove top and the combination is stable.

Attachment 58853
Roman cup.

The dodecahedrons are in the size range. Various size holes would accommodate various size cup bases. The projections above would help keep cups from tipping over if bumped while the projections below would act as heat sinks to help keep resting surfaces from being scorched. Heat sources (e.g. candles, wood) would have their own platform inside.

It's the Roman version of the one cup coffee maker. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.



Flint  Friday Dec 16 05:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by lumberjim View Post
It's just one of those shapes that existed before we were there to observe it. It's like a pyramid or a cube. Is there a 3D hexagon?
The platonic solids don't contain a purely hexagonal-sided object (there isn't a Dungeons and Dragons die with hexagons on each side). But this is my last post, I already quit the Cellar a few minutes ago. Goodbye.


footfootfoot  Friday Dec 16 06:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sexobon View Post
Attachment 58850
Canteen cup.

Attachment 58851
Canteen cup stove (6.5 cm high).

Attachment 58852
Canteen cup nestled in stove.
Precise fit so tapered cup slides only so far down into open stove top and the combination is stable.

Attachment 58853
Roman cup.

The dodecahedrons are in the size range. Various size holes would accommodate various size cup bases. The projections above would help keep cups from tipping over if bumped while the projections below would act as heat sinks to help keep resting surfaces from being scorched. Heat sources (e.g. candles, wood) would have their own platform inside.

It's the Roman version of the one cup coffee maker. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
I was thinking along those lines but there is no mention of soot nor color change to the bronze from heating, so I'm less certain.


monster  Friday Dec 16 07:54 PM

Hebe and I are intrigued. I feel my next ceramics project coming on



blueboy56  Friday Dec 16 11:14 PM

It's obvious. They are control knobs for modified tardisis' (Tardisie?) focused on 3rd century Rome.



lumberjim  Saturday Dec 17 12:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flint View Post
The platonic solids don't contain a purely hexagonal-sided object (there isn't a Dungeons and Dragons die with hexagons on each side). But this is my last post, I already quit the Cellar a few minutes ago. Goodbye.
That will show us. We'll all be sorry when you're gone.


sexobon  Saturday Dec 17 10:32 AM

Maybe Pooka will come back now.



Diaphone Jim  Saturday Dec 17 12:52 PM

The first thing that came to mind was Bruce's post "Scots Stone Balls" from last February:

http://cellar.org/showthread.php?t=31659
They were in the mid-range of these for size.

In today's link, varying hole size seems more common than not, indicating a gauge or measuring device of some kind, with a NSFW possibility.



infinite monkey  Saturday Dec 17 12:58 PM

The Dodecahedron from The Phantom Tollbooth:



Gravdigr  Saturday Dec 17 05:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by footfootfoot View Post
4cm-11cm not much of a sex toy.
You're not brave enough.


Flint  Wednesday Dec 21 02:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sexobon View Post
Maybe Pooka will come back now.
Maybe she will. Good thing I never publicly bad-mouthed her after the divorce, since we're back together now.


classicman  Wednesday Dec 21 06:21 PM

Wai, what?



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