A dodecahedron dating from the Roman era has been discovered in a field in Kortessem (Limburg) by an amateur archaeologist.  The object is extremely rare and has now been donated to the Gallo Roman Museum of Tongeren where it will be on view to the public.

A dodecahedron is a geometric figure that possesses twelve pentagonal sides that have little spheres at each corner.  It is made of bronze and is hollow inside.  “It’s never been really clear what they were used for” explains Patrick Schuermans, the amateur archaeologist who made the find.  “Experts believe it may have been used as a measuring instrument or was used to look at the stars to allow farmers to know when to sow their seeds or harvest.  But it remains guesswork.  It’s a real mystery!”

Schuermans is only the third person in Belgium and the second in Flanders to find a piece of a dodecahedron.  “When I encountered the item in a field in Kortessem (Limburg) I had some idea of what it was. I’d already seen the object in books and at the museum.  The Heritage agency has now confirmed that it is a piece of a dodecahedron”.

Schuermans has donated his find to the Gallo Roman Museum in Tongeren: “The archaeological value is far greater than any financial value.  I’m not being paid, but I believe it’s important it doesn’t disappear in a draw and can be exhibited”.