‘Great enigma’: Amateur archaeologists unearth mysterious Roman object

By Jurassic JennJun 14, 2024 12:02 PMScience
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‘Great enigma’: Amateur archaeologists unearth mysterious Roman object
‘Great enigma’: Amateur archaeologists unearth mysterious Roman object. Source: www.yahoo.com

An astonishing find in Lincolnshire, England has revealed one of the largest Roman dodecahedrons ever uncovered. This enigmatic, 12-sided object, which is hollow and features 12 holes of various sizes, remains a mystery in terms of its actual purpose. It is considered a rare artifact, with only 33 similar objects known to exist in Roman Britain and approximately 130 around the world. The Norton Disney History and Archaeology Group, an amateur group from the region, made the discovery in June. Now, after careful preservation, the 1,700-year-old dodecahedron is ready to be exhibited at the Lincoln Museum from May 4 to early September. This was reported by SSPDaily.

Andrea Martin, the museum's exhibitions and interpretations manager, expressed excitement about the display coinciding with the Lincoln Festival of History and the significance of having the Norton Disney dodecahedron showcased near its place of discovery. The press release from the Lincolnshire County Council describes this artifact as one of the largest examples ever found.

Despite its impressive size and well-preserved condition, experts are still puzzled about its purpose. Richard Parker, secretary of the Norton Disney History and Archaeology Group, stated that the dodecahedron is entirely unique as no similar objects have been found. Without references in Roman literature and absence from pictorial depictions, its intended function remains elusive. These dodecahedra come in different sizes, ruling out their use for measurement, and its pristine form indicates that it was unlikely a practical tool.

Parker suggests a plausible theory that these objects might have served as religious or ritual items due to the Romans' superstitious nature. He mentions a notable discovery made near the dodecahedron: a small figurine of a mounted rider god with "strong religious connections." Found in 1989 by metal detectorists, this type of artifact is typically associated with temple sites. Such correlations provide some context and suggest a spiritual purpose.

The Norton Disney History and Archaeology Group intends to continue excavations at the site, with hopes of unraveling more clues about the area's use in ancient times. Parker is optimistic that obtaining additional insights will help solve the intricate puzzle surrounding the purpose of this dodecahedron. The uncovering of this particular dodecahedron in an archaeological excavation area gives researchers an advantage, allowing them to establish contextual information compared to previous discoveries made without such background knowledge.

As this fascinating story unfolds, more will be unveiled about the significance and role of this ancient Roman artifact, shedding light on an intriguing chapter of history yet to be fully explored.

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