These handmade bone dice are similar to several 17th century originals found in the excavations of James Fort. More than 60 gaming dice have been discovered so far. Most are made of bone, but some are ivory or lead.
Gambling, which could lead to dereliction of duties, was discouraged among the Jamestown soldiers. Captain John Smith complained about men “devoted only to idleness,” and the colony adopted laws in 1610 and 1612 to control such behavior. A second offense for playing at dice could lead to a whipping, and a third offense could result in imprisonment for a year. Most of Jamestown’s dice are about the size of a pencil eraser, making them easier to hide when confronted by an authority.
Dice are roughly 3/8″ square but have irregularities in size and appearance true to history.