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.