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The royal game of Ur. Source: Trustees of the British Museum / CC by SA 4.0.

Playing the 4,500-Year-Old Royal Game of Ur (Video)

What happens when a popular Youtuber takes on the British Museum curator at one of history’s oldest board games? That’s just what happened when Tom Scott challenged Irving Finkel to a Royal Game of...
Representational image of man with slingshot. Source: emerald_media / Adobe Stock

Andean Pucara Was a Deadly Slingshot Contest to Ensure Fruitful Harvest

Southern Ecuador was once home to a fascinating indigenous game which was a literal battle for survival. Deeply rooted in the cultural traditions of the provinces of Azuay and Cañar, Pucara , also...
Achilles and Ajax engaged in a game of “pessi” an ancient Greek board game. Mysterious ancient stone spheres may have been used in a board game. Source: Egisto Sani / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Mystery Solved! Strange Stone Spheres are for an Ancient Greek Board Game!

Mysterious ancient stone spheres found across Aegean and Mediterranean settlements were potentially used in a pre-historic board game! A new study, aided by artificial intelligence (A.I.), has...
Game pieces and board retrieved from the excavation site in Oslo, Norway.	Source: Ida Irene Bergstrøm / Science in Norway

Game Pieces Of The Medieval Norwegian Dope Addicts

Game pieces from the gaming and gambling history of Norway have been discovered in medieval Oslo. So bad did gambling addiction become that the king had to change national gaming laws. An excavation...
Lewis Chessmen king and queen, with rook and knight behind them.

The Icelandic Theory: Experts Challenge Establishment Dogma to Reveal History of Ivory Vikings

In 1874, the Norwegian chess historian Antonius Van der Linde belittled Frederic Madden’s suggestion that Iceland could produce anything approaching the sophistication of the Lewis chessmen...
Snow Snake, The Ancient Native American Winter Sport, Gets Popular

Snow Snake, The Ancient Native American Winter Sport, Gets Popular

On Friday, February 26 2021, a city park in Madison, Wisconsin will host a unique sporting competition . Newcomers and experienced practitioners alike will be given the opportunity to play snow snake...
Some of the finds from the Northgate construction site, Chester, near the site of an important Roman legion camp.     Source: Oxford Archaeology

New Finds Made Near Famous Roman Legion Base in Britain

Archaeologists have made some impressive new finds at an important Roman site in Britain. The finds are in an area that was once part of a large, Roman legionary camp and barracks. These discoveries...
The Iron Age “Game of Mercenaries” likely inspired the popular Viking age board game called ‘Hnefatafl.’ Source: Olga Makukha /Adobe Stock

Researchers Find Relics from an Iron Age ‘Game of Mercenaries’

Archaeologists excavating a burial in Norway have made a discovery that is offering a unique insight into Iron Age games and pastimes. They found evidence of a board game that was modelled on a...
Four-sided die from a Roman game found in Norway.            Source: University of Bergen

Rare Roman Game Die Unearthed At Norwegian Burial Cairn

In April 2020, Norwegian archaeologists from the University Museum of Bergen were excavating the remains of a small Early Iron Age burial cairn near the village of Ytre Fosse, overlooking Alversund...
Screenshot of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Source: Ubisoft

Brutal Viking World Recreated in New Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

A hair raising, exciting, and emotionally charged game trailer has been released for the next installment of the mega-popular computer game franchise Assassin’s Creed . In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla...
Representation of ancient Mesoamerican ballgame court in Mexico.  Source: smoke666 / Adobe stock

Ancient Ball Courts Found in Mexico Rewrite Deadly Ballgame’s History

In Mexico , two ancient ball courts have been found in a remote highland area. This is forcing experts to rethink how an important ballgame and cultural practice emerged in ancient Mexico. The...
The oldest board game in the world, the Royal Game of Ur.   Source: Shriram Rajagopalan / CC BY 2.0

Play the Oldest Board Game in the World: Royal Game of Ur - Part 2

In the first part of this article, we attempted to unravel the mystery symbolism on the oldest board game in the world - the Royal Game of Ur. The Heliopolitan creation myth was used to explain how...
The Royal Game of Ur board (or Game of Twenty Squares), found in the Royal Tombs of Ur in Mesopotamia, dating c. 2600-2400 B.C. Source: The Trustees of British Museum / Provided by the author

Deciphering the Patterns of the Royal Game of Ur Board - Part 1

The world’s first known board game was found in Mesopotamia (c. 2600 BC). Despite this, Egyptian beliefs help us best to understand the Royal Game of Ur’s board design, rules and all. Especially the...
IMAGE Upload an image to go with this article. Show row weights FILE INFORMATION	OPERATIONS   Image icon Egyptian-Game-of-death.jpg (113.35 KB) Alternate text Depiction of an ancient Egyptian queen playing senet (‘game of death’) from Nefertari's burial chamber, wife of Ramses II.      Source: Public domain This text will be used by screen readers, search engines, or when the image cannot be loaded.   Image icon game-of-death.jpg (100.58 KB) Alternate text This text will be used by screen readers, search en

Enigmatic Evolution of Ancient Egypt’s ‘Game of Death’ Revealed

An ancient Egyptian board game that was similar to Ludo or backgammon is offering new insights into ancient religious beliefs. It was not only a game, but it was seen as a way for the dead to...
Computer science graduate student and project manager Cameron Merrill explores a virtual archaeology cave excavation experience he helped create. Source: Fred Zwicky / University of Illinois

Virtual Reality Game Redefines Archaeology Education

Before they can get started at their field site -- a giant cave studded with stalactites, stalagmites and human artifacts -- 15 undergraduate students must figure out how to use their virtual hands...
Pattern of holes carved into ancient shelter in Azerbaijan are the remains of one of the world’s oldest games.

Holes Found Carved in Ancient Rock Shelter in Azerbaijan Belong to One of World’s Oldest Games

A major discovery has just been made in Gobustan, Azerbaijan - a rock carving of a game board that is believed to be one of the oldest that has ever been found. Dating back around 4000 years, the...
The Russian board game found in a crypt in Vyborg Castle

Mind Games of the Forgotten Russian Knight

Russian archaeologists exploring deep within a hidden chamber in the crypt of a late 13th century castle made the highly-unusual discovery of a large sandstone inscribed with a series of curious...
A fourteen-sided die may have been used to play the ancient game of “bo”.

Mysterious board game found in ancient Chinese tomb, along with suspected dead looter

Looters seem to have rolled the dice and lost when they plundered the tomb of an ancient aristocrat in Qingzhou City, China. When archaeologists uncovered the 2,300-year-old tomb, they found pieces...
The Golfers by Charles Lee

Ancient Pedigree of the Open Championship: Golf’s Long History and Hidden Beginnings

The Open Championship may be the oldest tournament in golf, but it is a very recent addition to the sport’s long and colorful history. Golf is a sport with ancient origins that has endured into our...
The Viking gaming board which has been found in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

The Search for a Lost Scottish Monastery Reveals a Rare Viking Gaming Board

While you search intently for something, you may chance upon another rare discovery, one which deserves just as much attention. This is what has happened to an archaeologist and her team looking for...
Children playing football in Thailand

4 Billion People Can’t Be Wrong: The Record-Shattering Popularity of Football, an Ancient Game

This ancient sport isn’t just a game – it’s a way of life. Football (known as soccer in some countries) is no new kid on the block. The origins of people kicking a ball around for sport stretches...
VR screenshot of one of the tomb’s images.

Would You Like to Tour the Tomb of Nefertari? Grab Your VR Headset and Explore!

Have you ever wished you could be guided through a beautifully preserved ancient Egyptian tomb? This is a dream for many people, however advances in virtual reality (VR) can help you get one giant...
Mortal Kombat X – Quan Chi.

Beyond a Fighting Game: Unmasking the Origins of Mortal Kombat Mythology

The “Mortal Kombat” franchise is based on a vast mythology. It is not just invented legends but actually sourced from various world mythologies as well. This article will take a look at elements from...
This Medieval dice has two 4's and two 5's but no 1 or 2. Archaeologists believe that it was likely used to cheat while gambling. This photo shows the two 5's.

An Altered Past: Modified Dice Tells Tales of Medieval Gambling in Norway

Is it true cheaters never prosper? Archaeologists believe that a 600-year-old wooden dice found in Norway was used in Medieval gambling. It was apparently a prized possession of a shifty player, who...

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