> It was the variation in size of the discs,
> variation in materials and form/shape that leads
> to variation in mass of the discs that had me
> questioning whether the game theory is correct.
I am not sure why this would be what makes you question the idea. There are many games/sports whose playing pieces/equipment, though the same design, are of different sizes, shapes or materials.
> Emery doesn’t give us data on
> mass of the discs.
Why is this needed really?
> The size of the discs in
> relation to the size of the box also raises
> questions. There are 5 photographed discs which
> are decorated out of the 45 or so discs meaning
> nearly 90% of the discs are unadorned.
Maybe the decorated ones are for official play and the rest for practice. Maybe they are part of the game along with the undecorated pieces.
> A counter
> point to these being unadorned is The variation in
> materials here would vary the colour /texture of
> these discs.
> Interesting to note that a couple of discs are
> made of crystal formed into a flat / convex shape
> which isn’t noted as having any optical quality
> but may be relevant to one of my other threads on
> optics in terms of development of grinding
> Perhaps the discs and arrows to spin them on do
> represent a knowledge of circular motion advanced
> to a form of entertainment but I keep thinking
> there may be something more practical or
> instructional about these discs.
What is the practical or instructional purpose (other than playing the game and/or how to spin tops for whatever reason) of having nearly 100 small, randomly assorted weighted discs, some decorated (implying more than a utilitarian function), some with slightly different shapes, some made of different materials all with no apparent standardization other than they are all between roughly 3-6in in diameter? Housed in a specially decorated ornate box and proudly buried in a tomb to also have in the afterlife no less. To each their own, though interesting for what it is, I do not see some great mystery here or advanced purpose of these disks.
Hemaka was seal bearer of king Den, effectively the "hand" of the king, part of whose job was the administration of lands and actions of the state including matters of treasury. The magnitude of his tomb and the grave goods within, more significant than the king himself, a phenomenon of 1st Dynasty tombs I have spoken of at length before, shows he was a very important and wealthy individual. It is hard to understand why he would have a centrifugal force test/instructional kit buried with him in his tomb.
As an aside, it is interesting to note Hemaka's title was "seal-bearer of the king of Lower Egypt", i.e. king of the north, and not a unified "seal bearer of the king of Egypt". Den's tomb of course is located in the south at the royal cemetery near Abydos.