Earliest Board Games – New Evidence

A fascinating find in southeast Turkey from around 3000BC was revealed this week: a collection of board game pieces of different styles/functions found together (image below and original story from Discovery News).

Small carved game pieces found together at Başur Höyük

Small carved game pieces found together at Başur Höyük

This adds weight to the evidence of game playing using boards and counters in the region during the early bronze age – the earliest example being Senet from predynastic Egypt, with more elaborate boards and counters found in the royal cemetery of Ur in ancient Mesopotamia, also dating from around 3000BC; while the still-played Go (or Wei-qi) appears in Asia in around 2000BC. This is, though, the first evidence of a collection of different game pieces (possibly indicating variation of roles in a game, or a variety of different games) collected together purposefully.

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