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Gaming Piece Discovered in Anglo-Saxon Royal Hall

Friday, November 22, 2013


gambling-anglo-saxons-009KENT, ENGLAND—A seventh-century gaming piece has been recovered from an Anglo-Saxon royal side hall in the village of Lyminge. Gabor Thomas of Reading University said that the beautifully crafted piece, made of a hollow piece of bone closed with a wooden cap held in place with a bronze pin, may have been imported from the Lombard kingdom. “It is very probably a stray loss, perhaps cast away in disgust by a king with a reputation for being a very bad loser,” Thomas speculated. This is the first Anglo-Saxon gaming piece to have been found in a residence—they are usually discovered in men’s graves. Pottery, animal bones, bronze horse harness pieces, and jewelry made from Roman glass have also been unearthed at the site.