WMID-EE1826: A cast lead die, probably dating to the Roman period.

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Unique ID: WMID-EE1826

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

A slightly uneven cast lead die of three-dimensional cuboid shape (14.4mm x 14.5mm; weight: 30.92g). Each side shows a number from 1-6 that have been incised as single dots to a depth of approximately 1mm. There is one deep cut/ damage mark on the side with 5 dots. The die is in a slightly worn but fair condition.

It is difficult to date dice as they appear in all periods, but Mills suggests that the more conventional Roman dice were made of bone or lead (see Mills, 'Celtic & Roman Artefacts', 2000, page 113, Ref no RB356). However, many examples of excavated dice from Roman sites such as Colchester, South Shields & Richborough, Kent have only yielded bone dice with ring and dot patterning on them to represent the numbers. Mills continues to note that Roman dice found in Britain can be poorly made and often have opposite sides that do not add up to 7 (page 113-4). They seems to be mostly the case with this example. 6 is opposite 1, but the other numbers do not add up. In his paper titled 'Dice' for the Finds Research Group 700-1700 datasheets, Geoff Egan does note that lead dice are very rare in the Early Medieval/ Medieval periods. Therefore, this example may probably date to the Roman period.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Date from: Post AD 43
Date to: Ante AD 410

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Weight: 30.92 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 26th May 2004

Personal details

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Materials and construction

Primary material: Lead
Manufacture method: Cast

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: City of Wolverhampton (Metropolitan District)
District: City of Wolverhampton (Metropolitan District)
Parish or ward: Blakenhall (Metropolitan District Ward)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SO9195
Four figure Latitude: 52.55276708
Four figure longitude: -2.13416743
1:25K map: SO9195
1:10K map: SO99NW
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Allason-Jones, L. and Miket, R. 1984 Catalogue of Small Finds from South Shields Roman Fort Gloucester Society of Antiquaries of London pages 48-9
Bushe-Fox, J.P. 1926 First Report on the Excavation of the Roman Fort at Richborough, Kent Oxford Society of Antiquaries of London page 47 & plate XV Ref no 31
Crummy, N. 1983 Colchester Archaeological Report 2: The Roman small finds from excavations in Colchester, 1971-9 Colchester Colchester Archaeological Trust Ltd pages 96-7
Egan, G. 1997 Dice Finds Research Group 700-1700 Datasheet 23
Mills, N. and Payne, G. 2000 Celtic and Roman Artefacts Witham Greenlight Publishing pages 113-4 Ref no RB356

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WMID
Created: 17 years ago
Updated: 11 years ago

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