Knuckle bones is very ancient game of chance used for gambling, magic and divination. These bones are the small ankle bones of sheep and or goats.
The origin of knucklebones is closely connected with that of dice, marbles and the children's game of jacks.
Sophocles ascribed the invention of the game to Palamedes, who taught them to his Greek countrymen during the Trojan War. Both the Iliad and the Odyssey contain allusions to games similar in character to knucklebones.
In ancient Mongolian cultures a larger knucklebone acquired from a cow would be used as a shooter in order to move the smaller bones in the game, very similar to the large ball used in a game of marbles.
Later metal was applied to this larger bone in order to give it weight. Molten metal was poured over the bone. The shape the metal formed from the holes in the bones is very similar to the present day metal jack.
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