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Old 12-15-2016, 09:39 PM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
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Dec 16th, 2016: Dodecahedron

Strange objects, nobody knows what they're for.

Quote:
Dating from around 200 AD, the Roman dodecahedron is a small hollow object made of bronze or (more rarely) stone, with a
geometrical shape that has twelve flat pentagonal faces, each with a circular hole in the middle. All sides connect into a
hollowed center. They were also embellished with a number of knobs at each corner point of the pentagon.

Ranging from 4 cm to 11 cm, over 100 of these fascinating looking objects have been found in various European parts of the
Roman Empire. The focus of findings of the dodecahedrons has been in central modern Europe or today’s France and southwest
Germany.

Quote:
As no classical accounts or narratives seem to mention them, the purpose of this mysterious object remains a puzzling mystery
that has confused archaeologists since their first discovery. In the course of the years, several different theories have been
formulated, attempting to clarify the use of the dodecahedron.

Speculated uses include candlestick holders (wax was found in one of them), flower stands, staff or scepter decorations,
a fortune telling devices, a bludgeon, a children’s toy, dice, or a measuring device (more precisely as a range measuring object
on the battlefields). However, the most widely-held theory is that they were religious artifacts, based on the fact that most of
the examples have been found in Gallo-Roman sites (one such object was found in a woman’s burial ground).
I don't know why there's a spider in the middle one.

link
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:54 PM   #2
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It's just one of those shapes that existed before we were there to observe it. It's like a pyramid or a cube. Is there a 3D hexagon?
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:55 AM   #3
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99% certain the boffins are over-thinking it. They are probably just ornamental like gazing balls or obelisks. Or else they are Time Lord technology.







The one on the left has different sized holes, I bet that is significant.
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:37 AM   #4
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The one on the far right also appears to have varying hole sizes, and a huge hole without any incised border near the "bottom".
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Old 12-16-2016, 08:06 AM   #5
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There is a video at the bottom of the link showing how someone used one to knit a glove. I'd be curious for our knitters to weigh in on this. It seems a little more complicated than just knitting in the normal fashion but I don't knit sew I don't know. (sorry)
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:02 AM   #6
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I'm more than certain that it's an early sex toy...
Come on :
- candlestick holders (wax was found in one of them),
- staff or scepter decorations,
- bludgeon
- measuring device
- religious artifact (one such object was found in a woman’s burial ground).
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:18 AM   #7
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4cm-11cm not much of a sex toy.
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:16 AM   #8
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Name:  Canteen Cup.jpg
Views: 242
Size:  54.9 KB
Canteen cup.

Name:  Canteen Cup Stove.jpg
Views: 251
Size:  74.2 KB
Canteen cup stove (6.5 cm high).

Name:  Canteen Cup and Canteen Cup Stove.jpg
Views: 240
Size:  44.0 KB
Canteen cup nestled in stove.
Precise fit so tapered cup slides only so far down into open stove top and the combination is stable.

Name:  Roman Cup.jpg
Views: 251
Size:  28.0 KB
Roman cup.

The dodecahedrons are in the size range. Various size holes would accommodate various size cup bases. The projections above would help keep cups from tipping over if bumped while the projections below would act as heat sinks to help keep resting surfaces from being scorched. Heat sources (e.g. candles, wood) would have their own platform inside.

It's the Roman version of the one cup coffee maker. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumberjim View Post
It's just one of those shapes that existed before we were there to observe it. It's like a pyramid or a cube. Is there a 3D hexagon?
The platonic solids don't contain a purely hexagonal-sided object (there isn't a Dungeons and Dragons die with hexagons on each side). But this is my last post, I already quit the Cellar a few minutes ago. Goodbye.
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Old 12-16-2016, 05:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sexobon View Post
Attachment 58850
Canteen cup.

Attachment 58851
Canteen cup stove (6.5 cm high).

Attachment 58852
Canteen cup nestled in stove.
Precise fit so tapered cup slides only so far down into open stove top and the combination is stable.

Attachment 58853
Roman cup.

The dodecahedrons are in the size range. Various size holes would accommodate various size cup bases. The projections above would help keep cups from tipping over if bumped while the projections below would act as heat sinks to help keep resting surfaces from being scorched. Heat sources (e.g. candles, wood) would have their own platform inside.

It's the Roman version of the one cup coffee maker. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
I was thinking along those lines but there is no mention of soot nor color change to the bronze from heating, so I'm less certain.
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:54 PM   #11
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Hebe and I are intrigued. I feel my next ceramics project coming on
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:14 PM   #12
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It's obvious. They are control knobs for modified tardisis' (Tardisie?) focused on 3rd century Rome.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flint View Post
The platonic solids don't contain a purely hexagonal-sided object (there isn't a Dungeons and Dragons die with hexagons on each side). But this is my last post, I already quit the Cellar a few minutes ago. Goodbye.
That will show us. We'll all be sorry when you're gone.
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Old 12-17-2016, 09:32 AM   #14
sexobon
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Maybe Pooka will come back now.
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Old 12-17-2016, 11:52 AM   #15
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The first thing that came to mind was Bruce's post "Scots Stone Balls" from last February:

http://cellar.org/showthread.php?t=31659
They were in the mid-range of these for size.

In today's link, varying hole size seems more common than not, indicating a gauge or measuring device of some kind, with a NSFW possibility.
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