5.4 Bone objects
A remarkable collection of 345 bone dice (fig. 17) was recovered from the sieved residues, 144 from cesspit 2, 194 from layer 1 (the disturbed contents of the cesspit’s fills) and 7 from cesspit 4 (which was only partly excavated). The cubes show side lengths between 5 and 11 mm and are made from the long bones of large mammals. The numbers are indicated by engraved circles and mostly follow a regular pattern, with 1 and 2, 3 and 4, and 5 and 6 on opposite sides. Although this is the standard late medieval pattern, only 45% of the dice show an absolutely identical configuration of the numbers. Often the orientation of the numbers differs or production mistakes have been made, resulting in numbers occurring twice or in sides without any number. A particular group of 18 dice must be related to a different game than that for which the standard dice were used. In 10 cases the opposing sides both bear the numbers 2, 4 or 6, while 8 dice follow the pattern ‘1-1, 3-3, 5-5’. It is obvious that this cannot be the result of random mistakes made during production of the artefacts. Their number (10 and 8) possibly suggests that these dice were used as pairs. Unfortunately, it remains unknown for which game these dice were used.