(TIMES OF ISRAEL) -- A rare collection of animal knucklebone gaming dice, used 2,300 years ago during the Hellenistic period, have been found to be inscribed with the names of various deities believed to bring help and good fortune, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Tuesday.
So-called “astragali,” knucklebones of goats, sheep and cattle, were used as dice in gaming and for ritual divination, mostly by women and children, the statement said.
Advertisement - story continues below
The 530 astragali were found several years ago in a large underground cave complex at the Maresha-Bet Guvrin National Park in the Judean foothills in southern Israel. Research into their inscriptions and use was published for the first time recently in the peer-reviewed Levant journal.