Christian Link
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I had an interesting thought. What if a cool boardgame was discovered in some ancient ruins, published, and became popular? Or has it already happened a few times over time?
Maybe to be more precise, an ancient game that was obscure and/or one that was not abstract, but moreover one with any kind of proven 'ancient' history as to its creation, like its discovery or cultural heritage. That would be impressive. Has anyone done the research?
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Jeff Hinrickson
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The Royal Game of Ur

And best of all.

Sex!
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Joe Salamone
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jjloc wrote:


And best of all.

Sex!


Trust me . . . in my house sex is definitely over 1,000 years old . . .

soblue
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Stephen Roney
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MWChapel wrote:


Interestingly, that search misses the BC games like Senet
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Chase The Rabbit.

The Great Berry Pick-off.

Kill The Traitor.

Cave Bear Race.
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Pete Belli
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Not really an ancient board game but I would like to see a modern prototype covering the Ritual Ball Game played in Mesoamerica.

I cannot imagine any cultural scenario which would not include children from those civilizations playing smaller -- and hopefully less deadly -- versions of that game. There might have been scale models of the temple/ball court complexes around, too. For all I know there might be some actual examples in a museum someplace.

Excuse me for wandering a bit off topic... I find the history of Mexico and Central America fascinating.
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pete belli wrote:


Excuse me for wandering a bit off topic... I find the history of Mexico and Central America fascinating.


I learned about that proto-basketball thing when I was wandering around the Mayan Riviera when I was 18. If I recall correctly winning that game was not in the best interests of those top athletes...
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Here is a blurb I read about the discovery not too long ago of the Jiroft board game :

Jiroft Scorpion Game at Goddess Chess

The Scorpion game was discovered in the ruins of the Jiroft culture (in modern day Iran). The game is believed to date to about 2500 BCE, plus or minus a few hundred years. This makes it roughly about the same age as The Royal Game of Ur but not as old as Senet (which is ~1000 years older)

Unfortunately, no one knows how the game was played - the rules are lost, as are the rules to The Royal Game of Ur and Senet. Granted we can speculate and guess, but we may never know for sure how these games were played. BTW, The Escapist Magazine wrote this little piece in which an understanding of the significance of Senet and it's place in ancient Egyptian culture has been lost with the rules. Games have an archeological significance and are studied for that purpose.

As for a rediscovered board game becoming popular in modern times, I guess it's possible but unlikely. You can buy modern replicas of The Royal Game of Ur and Senet. Some "extinct" chess variants, like Chaturanga have something of a following. There is a minute yahoo group that is into Rithmomachy. I wouldn't call any of these very popular though.

As for my contribution, I am working on a translation of the rules for Uranomachia, will post them eventually. Maybe that will turn out to be wildly popular someday ... but I won't bet on it.
laughlaugh

- as/jz

PS: Fascinating topic though, old games and all that. Be sure to look up some of the geeklists on the subject:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37133/
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/27522/
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Christian Link
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Wow there IS a lot of research that has been done. Its not easy for me to search for it.
I was kind of hoping for a game like Vinci or Clans, but I asked knowing that "the sum of man's ignorance is always equal, by relation, to the total entropy in the universe".
 
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