Who invented cubes and when? Nobody knows the answer to this question. It seems that many people and cultures have discovered dice independently of each other. A partial list of lucky dice-playing ancestors includes Egyptians, Mayans, Chinese, Indians, Native Americans, Turks, Iranians. Surely we forgot someone. We almost certainly forgot someone.
Just know that the dice are very, very old. But although they are called playing, they were originally used not at all for entertainment. The roll of the dice helped to find answers to exciting questions, to predict fate. Life was hard then, not like it is now. Perhaps people wanted to receive good news from the gods about their future. Soon they began to use dice for the game. We think this is because they did not like the answer of the gods.
Of course, the first dice were not at all like the dice we know today. At first they were just painted stones. The first such game elements were discovered by amateurs of digging in the ground in Turkey and Iran. By this time, they had been lying there for almost 5000 years! Traces of ancient dice found in the tombs of the Egyptians date back to around 3000 BC.
When they got tired of painted stones, they decided to use sticks. In addition, it did not allow many unnecessary materials to disappear - fruit bones, shells, a split tree and ... phalanges of fingers. Sometimes they even tried to make them look like real fingers and applied a pattern of skin and nails. We think it's a little creepy.
One side of the sticks was painted or carved. In fact, they were the first two-sided cubes. The more sticks fell with the colored side up, the better the result was. It would seem that the most terrible outcome is if all the sticks fell unchanged side up. But no. This result was considered the maximum. 10 out of 10. Well, or 1 out of 1. It depends on how many sticks you had.
The next ancestor of the modern dice was ... the small joints of cloven-hoofed animals. For example, sheep. No, we were not mistaken. Although who would have thought that the most ancient game component originated from the sheep? Or rather two.
These dice were called astragals, from the Greek word for ankle. Historians believe that they appeared between 1783-1552 BC. A different number of dots were placed on their sides with carvings or paint. Nice and neat, isn't it?
Of course you can't feed enough sheep. Therefore, those who could afford it played with four-sided "cubes" made of more expensive materials - for example, precious metals. But it was the joints of the animals that gave the name to the dice.
At first, dice weren't part of board games. They played a completely independent game called ... "dice". Everyone in turn threw astragals, and the winner was the one who threw out the most points. Do you want to plunge into the atmosphere of antiquity? We sell cubes. This is certainly not quite right, but we are counting on your imagination.
If it's no joke, then earlier this game was taken very seriously. And sometimes it went far beyond harmless.