Dice have been used throughout Asia since before recorded history; the oldest known dice were excavated as part of a 5000-year-old backgammon set at the Burnt City, an archeological site in south-eastern Iran. Other excavations from ancient tombs in the Indus Valley civilization indicate a South Asian origin. Dicing is mentioned as an Indian game in the Rigveda, Atharvaveda and Buddha games list;it also plays a critical role in the great Hindu epic Mahabharata, where Yudhisthira plays a game of dice against the Kauravas for the northern kingdom of Hastinapura, which becomes the trigger for a war. There are several biblical references to "casting lots", as in Psalm 22, indicating that dicing was commonplace in the region during King David's reign. Knucklebones was a skill game played by women and children; a derivative form had the four sides of the bone receive different values and count as modern dice. Gambling with two or three dice was a very popular form of amusement in Greece, especially with the upper classes, and an invariable accompaniment to symposia.
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