Dice

Date:
probably 8th–12th century
Geography:
Excavated in Iran, Nishapur
Medium:
Jet; drilled and inlaid with white pigment
Classification:
Gaming pieces
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1948
Accession Number:
48.101.256
Not on view
The dot-in-circle motif recalls designs presumed to be of magical significance, most likely an abstract eye to ward off the evil-eye, which serves an apotropaic function. Easily reproduced with a tool and visible in many cultures and times, this symbol may have lost its meaning, and become simply a decorative pattern, or may have one that we have not yet discovered.
1939, excavated in Nishapur, Iran by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's expedition; 1948, acquired by the Museum in the division of finds