4,000 Year Old Game Board Discovered Carved Into Floor Of Cave

December 11, 2018

ancient-board-game-carving.jpg

This is a shot of the 4,000 year old game board that was found carved into the stone floor of a cave shelter in Azerbaijan. Experts believe it's some form of the ancient game of '58 Holes' or 'Hounds and Jackals', although experts aren't actually sure how those games were played. Jesus, what's it even take to be an expert these days?

Though the rules of 58 Holes are unknown, many think it was played a bit like modern backgammon, with counters, such as seeds or stones, moved around the board until they reached a goal.


"It is two rows in the middle and holes that arch around outside, and it's always the fifth, 10th, 15th and 20th holes that are marked in some way," [American Museum of Natural History researcher Walter] Crist said of the pattern cut into the rock shelter. "And the hole on the top is a little bit larger than the other ones, and that's usually what people think of as the goal or the endpoint of the game."

Players may have used dice or casting sticks to regulate the movement of counters on the board, but so far, no dice have been found with any ancient game set of 58 Holes or Hounds and Jackals, he said...

Admittedly, I have to hand it to the game's maker for having the foresight to carve the game directly into the stone floor so there's no board that can be flipped in the event of a sore loser. And there's always a sore loser. "Didn't you try to bite someone last game night?" Tried and SUCCEEDED. "But I thought everyone bailed and you wound up playing solitaire alone." I got drunk and caught my right hand cheating.

Thanks again to becca b, who's invited over this Friday for a real game night with snacks and soda and everything. "I'm 2,500 miles away." Planes exist.

  • The_Wretched

    Or it was a way to teach counting.

  • MajorZod

    They even had a finishing line!

  • GeneralDisorder

    Amazing that black and white piece kept its color all those years.

  • Closet Nerd

    Just watch them play Hounds & Jackals in the 10 Commandments to figure it out

  • Ghost Pirates

    What? They couldn't count to 60 yet?

  • I think that it's fairly obviously the lost level to "Crash Team Racing".
    Archeological dilettantes... ;-)

  • Ez

    It's the first version of Jumanji. There's probably still a player trapped inside.

  • Wait, if it was in a cave, then why does it look like it's lit by natural sunlight and have natural grass around it? And why is there a race car finish line on the ground?! FAKE! TOTALLY FAKE!

  • MustacheHam

    Hmm...that makes sense. Thats probably from when they raced the villages prized animal the hedgehog back then. Of course the track is fresh for the earlier, but secret testing of the track to confirm their findings.

  • Beard

    I'm sure the Pawn Star guys can get an ancient-gaming-expert in here to tell us how its played...

  • Bling Nye

    "How much do you want for it?"

    "I'll take $25,000"

    "I can't do that. I can offer you... $16 and an old shoe."

    "Can you do $20?"

    "Tell you what, I'll give you $15, an old shoe and this acorn."

    "Deal!"

    smash cut

    "An expert has said he will take this off my hands for 16 billion dollars."

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