Ancient DiceOctober 6, 2011
The ancient Nepalese Yahtzee artifacts that I mentioned in a previous post have just become a lot more dear to me. I received a phone call very early this morning from Norway. For a moment I thought it was the Nobel Prize committee ringing to notify me that I was a winner. But it was even better news! The voice on the other end of the line belonged to none other than Paul Aalgaard, the lead archaeologist who made the find in Nepal. Dr. Aalgaard invited me to study the dice and other Yahtzee remains that his team recently uncovered.
I quickly assembled a small team of my best researchers and one choice historian and we all leave tomorrow for Oslo! Most ancient dice and other gaming equipment rarely see the light day as they are either locked away in a museum or in private collections. Dr. Aaslgaard is making this find available to the World Yahtzee Institute on a perpetual basis while its permanent home is yet to be determined.
This will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get hands-on with genuine Yahtzee relics. The closest I’ve come before was at a dig outside Jerusalem in 1976. The shaker cup that I was called in to examine turned out to be a clever forgery. That incident really dashed my hopes of ever encountering truly meaningful ancient Yahtzee artifacts. And now I’ve been presented with this chance – surely I’ve gotten my hopes too high already. I feel as giddy as a schoolgirl but I suppose that Yahtzee has that effect on everyone at one time or another.
Every day is an adventure at the World Yahtzee Institute, but today is without a doubt the most memorable in my more than 40 years there.