Greek Inscribed Bone Astragalos


Greek Inscribed Bone Astragalos

A large ancient Greek bone astragalos or 'knucklebone," inscribed on one side PUR. Astragaloi the ankle bones of sheep, were childrens' toys employed in a number of games like jacks.

Ca. 6th - 1st century BC.
Length: 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm).

Knucklebones, or astragaloi (astragaloi), when rolled could land one of four ways. The most probable roll with the the convex broad side up counted three. The concave broad side counted four. The convex narrow side, called Chios or the Dog counted one, and the most unlikely roll, the concave narrow side up counted six. Rolling several astragaloi at once created many combinations, some had distinctive names such as Aphrodite, Midas, Solon, Alexander, and the highest roll: the Euripides.

Formerly in an American private collection.

Inv#: 6911


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