Monday, April 1, 2013

Astragalus bones-

astragalus bones

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.
Witches in Fiction 2013 To The Bone


Magaly Guerrero said...

I had no idea the game of knuckle bone went so far back... now I'm wondering how it might relate to dominoes. I know the number of pieces are different, but dice and dominoes are so similar that I wonder, wonder, wonder...

Sunshineshelle said...

I loved playing knuckles as a child and we found a plastic set cleaning out last week, lot's of fun, but didn't realise they evolved from that rich history!

Sarah said...

Good Morning! I'm stopping by via Magaly's Bone party, and am so glad that I did. What a wonderfully informative history on knucklebones! I can't help it; my fingers itch to make them into earrings. They are beautiful little bones! Thank you for sharing this post, and nice discovering you through the party.
Bright Blessings!

Aine Dark said...

Casting the bones is my favorite form of divination at this point. I have even made my own set out of sheep ankle bones. I find that they are VERY accurate.