5,000-Year Old Board Game Pieces Unearthed In Turkey

August 15, 2013


This is a shot of the around 5,000-year old board game tokens recently unearthed at Başur Höyük, in southeast Turkey, making them the oldest known game pieces ever discovered. Any idea what they were playing? Chutes and Ladders? D&D? The Game of Life? I'm going to be a warrior and have eight kids and live in a hut.

"Some depict pigs, dogs and pyramids, others feature round and bullet shapes. We also found dice as well as three circular tokens made of white shell and topped with a black round stone," Haluk Sağlamtimur of Ege University in İzmir, Turkey, told Discovery News.

...our gaming pieces were found all together in the same cluster. It's a unique finding, a rather complete set of a chess like game. We are puzzling over its strategy," he added.

The find confirms that board games likely originated and spread from the Fertile Crescent regions and Egypt more than 5,000 years ago (Senet from predynastic Egypt is considered the world's oldest game board). The tokens were accompanied by badly preserved wooden pieces or sticks. Sağlamtimur hopes they'll provide some hints on the rules and logic behind the game.

"According to distribution, shape and numbers of the stone pieces, it appears that the game is based on the number 4," he said.

Hey, I'd play it with you. But only if you agree to play by MY RULES. And in my rules I always win. Yeah, and the loser has to strip down to their underwear and run around the table yelling 'YOU'RE THE WINNER, YOU'RE THE BEST!' until I roll snake eyes. "But where are the dice?" This isn't a dice game, we use a spinner. "Sooooo?" So I'd start stretching if I were you.

Thanks to E V I L A R E S, who's so evil he ends every board game prematurely with a rage-quit and table flip. Heck yeah!

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