CORN-1C7086: die (4)

Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
CC License:

Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
CC License:

Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
CC License:

Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
CC License:

Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
CC License:

Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
CC License:

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Unique ID: CORN-1C7086

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

A cast asymmetric lead die dating from the Medieval to the Post-medieval period. The die is slightly irregular in shape but with well-squared corners and smooth, flat faces with drilled dots to indicate their values. It measures 9.5 mm by 8.6 mm by 7.6 mm and weighs 7.25 g. The opposing longer, wider faces are 4 and 3; the longer, narrower faces are 6 and 2; the short ends are 5 and 1. This pattern does not conform to any of the 16 variants of the 'regular' format illustrated by Potter (1992) and reproduced by Egan in Finds Research Group Datasheet 23 (1997) on p.3, fig.2, in which the opposing faces of a die always add up to seven. The number of 'irregular' variants is very large and on this example the only conventional pairing on the die is the 4 and the 3. In a short, unscientific test at rolling the die, the resulting scores appeared to favour the 4 and 3 (the longer, wider faces) suggesting that the irregular shape might have been designed to enable cheating. Egan (1997) on p.4 concludes that the predominance of the 16 'regular' dice variants was the result of greater regulation of gambling from the 16th century onwards. This indicates that the current example may date to a slightly earlier period although the quality of manufacture suggests a later Medieval date, rather than an earlier one. Margeson (1993) illustrates a cubical and an asymmetric bone die from Aldgate, London with irregular patterns that are closest in arragement to this example on page 216, fig.164, nos.1767 & 1770, which date from c.1400-1550.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Subperiod to: Early
Date from: Circa AD 1400
Date to: Circa AD 1550

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 9.5 mm
Width: 8.6 mm
Thickness: 7.6 mm
Weight: 7.25 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Friday 1st June 2018 - Saturday 30th June 2018

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Anna Tyacke
Identified by: Ms Anna Tyacke

Materials and construction

Primary material: Lead
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: St. Erth (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SW5632
Four figure Latitude: 50.13776804
Four figure longitude: -5.41600381
1:25K map: SW5632
1:10K map: SW52SE
Grid reference source: Generated from computer mapping software
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: CORN
Created: 5 months ago
Updated: 5 months ago

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