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Posts Tagged ‘ancient Egypt

Lewis chess set

Ancient Lewis chess set

Currently, the oldest board game of the world is the Egyptian Senet, dated 3500 BC. Senet is mentioned in the Book of the Dead, the Egyptian funerary text which describes the afterlife believes of this ancient civility.
It was believed that winning players of Senet were protected by the tree most powerful gods of ancient Egypt: Ra, Thoth and Osiris.
The Senet is played on a bridge of thirty boxes, while on the back, a second plank of twenty boxes were used for another game called Tjau, but we don’t know with certainty the rules of the game.

king chess piece

King chess piece

Senet game board really similar to the chess one and for this reason many scholars think that this ancient Egyptian board game is the great-great-grandfather of the game of chess.
Four sets to play Senet, handmade carved in ivory, were discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1333 BC.
Another ancient board game is the chess set of the Scottish island of Lewis, consisting of 78 pieces of Nordic origin made with Ivory and whale bones. The Isle of Lewis Chess Set is a really piece of games archaeology and dates back to the twelfth century (1150-1170 AD) and perhaps, it is the only examples to date of existing medieval chess. Read the rest of this entry »

Board games have millennial history and have been played in a lot of cultures and societies.
The oldest board game in the world is Senet appeared in ancient Egypt in 3300 b.C.
Senet was very popular in the land of Pharaohs, especially among nobles and rich people, like this unique exemplar of this mysterious board game, inscribed with name of Pharaoh AmunhotepIII, is well preserved at the New York Brooklyn Museum.
senetboard-inscribedwithnameofamunhotepiii
The rules are still unknown to  but a lot of Egyptologist, think that Senet is an old ancestor of chess with its two different kind of pieces (maybe it was for two players) and its special squares in the board (the ones with the hieroglyphics inscriptions).
Senet was something like, the Ancient Egipt National games and became soon a mystic and religious object too: Egyptians believed that dead people had to play Senet against an invisible opponent to enter the reign of the dead. Many Senet playing tables in wood and ivory, with  drawers for the pieces under the board, were found  in  Tutankhamon  grave.
senet_boardgame
Nefertari too liked this board game, in this picture she was playing Senet.

nefertari-playing-senet

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