Many explanations have been offered for the mysterious dodecahedrons from the Roman empire, but no researcher or historian has ever been able to confirm what they are or what they are used for exactly. A 12 sided beautifully crafted object that would have been expensive to make, but remains a complete mystery to what it may actually be.
The first one was found over 300 years ago in the English countryside, and it has intrigued archaeologists ever since. A mixed piece of metal, with ancient brass and equal 12 sides. It was far from the only dodecahedron ever found, with more than 100 similar-looking objects found across Europe. They ranged in the size of golf balls to some a little larger than a baseball. They are all hollow and each of them has 12 equally sized faces, however, each face has a hole of varying diameter.
They are on display at dozens of museums and collections, but really nothing is known about them. This is because these objects have left zero paper trail. Historians have not found one shred of written documentation or reports about what these 12 faced objects might be. Of course, many theories have been brought up as a result, such as they were used for military purposes. Perhaps they were military banner ornaments, or maybe they were just candle holders.
There are obvious signs that expert craftsmanship was needed to make the objects, which has given to the theory that they may have been props used for casting magical spells or rituals. This was a time when metal objects would have been expensive and hard to make. Others argue that the dodecahedrons hold value, but nobody knows what for, this idea was put forth because they were generally found along with Roman coins.
Another theory is that they are rangefinders, for military use, to quickly calculate how far an enemy is on the battlefield. They would hold the object up and theoretically only one of the holes would match up given the distance and the soldiers would know how far away the enemy was. However, this was rebuked because no two dodecahedrons are the same size. Others have said they are used as games to pass the time, but unless a manual is found, it seems dubious that we will ever know truly what these objects are.