Monday, January 19, 2015

"What Is It" For Monday Mystery...!

I don't think we have talked about this one before, But I may be wrong.

One thing that makes this piece so interesting is that there don't seem to be any early written record of what they are, or what they were used for. Now that's interesting, don't you think?

Roman Dodecahedrons
Roman Empire

Photo credit: Woudloper

Throughout the regions that were once within the sphere of influence of the Roman Empire, from Wales to the Mediterranean, about 100 small, strangely shaped objects have been found and are, to this day, completely unexplained. Called “dodecahedrons” after their shape, each one is a hollow stone or bronze object, 4–12 centimeters (1.5–5 in) in diameter, with 12 flat pentagonal faces and holes of varying sizes on each face. Small knobs protrude from each corner. While the Romans were usually meticulous about keeping written records about everything they did, nobody has ever found a definitive account of these objects. The closest we have is Plutarch, who reportedly thought they were some kind of zodiacal instruments.

Some people think they were instruments of war. Others believe they had religious or astronomical significance, since many have been found in temples. A popular hypothesis is that they were used to measure the optimal sowing time for winter grain. Still others believe they were candlestick holders or children’s toys, and one man even thinks they were an aid for knitting gloves. Whatever they were, the dodecahedrons were a fairly common object throughout the Roman Empire. Until we find some written record or discover one within a context that establishes its use, these bizarre puzzle-boxes will remain a mystery.

Don't you just love these older mysteries that haven't been solved yet? There is probably a very simple explanation of what they are and what their use was, but if that's the case...where are the records?

Coffee out on the patio again today. Temps are on the rise and the sun is supposed to shine again!


deborah harvey said...

hi. read about a steamboat wreck pulled out of the mississippi a few decades ago with a cargo of some metal hand held gadget. no one could figure what they were.
perhaps the little roman objects were of such everyday trivial use that no one thought of making a record.
deb h.

Sixbears said...

It's a wifi antenna. :)

Dizzy-Dick said...

I think it is a roller skate key. . .

linda m said...

I think they are alien listening devices. coffee on the patio sure sounds good. I'll bring some fresh baked bread.

JO said...

Some interesting comments about them haha
I think it was a torture device of some kind those people where mean.

Pass the pot please. It was nice to sleep in my warm house last night

Mamahen said...

Interesting would think no matter how unimportant there would be some mention of them....i'll bring fresh churned butter for that yummy fresh bread :))

HermitJim said...

Hey Debora Harvey...
That's probably right. The everyday items don't seem that important until they are not around anymore.

Thanks for dropping by today!

Hey Sixbears...
I've seen stranger ones.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Hey Dizzy...
Now you got me with that one. I been looking at it and I just can't see a roller skate key!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Hey Linda M...
That makes as much sense as anything else.Sure has a lot of holes for a listening device, though.

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Jo...
One thing about this group, they can always come up with some interesting ideas!

Thanks, sweetie, for the visit today!

Hey Mamahen...
It does seem strange that no record of there purpose can be found. Unusual for sure!

Thanks for stopping in this morning!