The mystery continues concerning these ancient roman dodecahedron shaped artifacts that have been found all over Europe but mostly in France, Germany, and Switzerland. They range in size from 4-11 cm. These objects have been puzzling archeologists for a while now. What are they? What are their purpose? And the mathematical shape? Where did they ancient people get knowledge of a dodecahedron – or is this not so rare? (photo above: foxnews.com)
So what is a dodecahedron anyway? See the short video above. Well, it’s a geometrical shape – a polyhedron that has 12 flat sides in the shape of pentagons, and three of the flat faces or pentagons meet at each vertex (or edge). The Wikipedia page has a rotating dodecahedron which is really cool to watch. This particular shape is part of what is called Sacred Geometry – due to the mystical nature of the shape. And the dodecahedron is also thought now to be the shape of our Universe! In the roman dodecahedron objects, each pentagon has a small circle in the middle. Wonder why?
About the only thing that archeologists have done – is name the objects. They date to around the 2nd or 3rd AD century. So why so much of a mystery?
(photo top left: en.wikipedia.org photo middle: pbmo.wordpress.com photo top right: herefordshire.gov.uk photo bottom left: detecting.org.uk)
The Romans supposedly kept excellent records – and don’t seem to have mentioned these particular objects in their records. So their purpose remains a puzzle.
What are the hypothesis’ that people have come up with? Since the dodecahedron has 12 sides, maybe it is a representation of the 12 zodiac signs. Other theories have been candlestick, weapon of war, toy, weather gauge, some kind of astronomical instrument, and even a religious artifact. So many are being found all over, and one even found in a burial ground, we may never know the true purpose.
Since they are hollow, and small, the first thing that comes to my mind is jewelry of some kind. Maybe some kind of gem was put inside the hollow part. Knobs have also been found on some of the objects, maybe a way to keep the gem inside the object? It’s only speculation.
Books, classrooms, bloggers, and websites have tried to identify the purpose of these roman dodecahedrons. And many arguments have ensued. Will we ever learn the true purpose?
Anyway, the quest is on for solving this mystery of the Roman Dodecahedrons. They come in various dodecahedron shapes, as you can see by the pictures. What do you think they were used for? Any ideas?