Figures of Ancient Board Game – Western Armenia

During excavation of a mound on the territory of Western Armenia, located in 20 km from city Siirt, Siirt Province, Turkey, archaeologists discovered a set of a 5000 years old board game, which makes it one of the most ancient discovered games.

The location of the mound has been a trade route from Mesopotamia to eastern Anatolia. Its vicinity has been populated at least 9000 years ago.

Archaeologist Hayuk Saglatimur from Ege University of Izmir, Turkey, believes that the logic of the game is based on the number 4. According to him, the group had discovered similar artifacts in Iraq in the type site Jemdet Nasr and in another location in northwest of Syria, though those finds had been scattered all over the sites.

The set consists of 49 different stone figures, painted black, white, green, and blue. Some figures resemble animals while the rest is either round, pyramidal, or conical. Dice, three disks, three different statuettes, small sticks, and wooden objects have been found as well.

Distribution of every type of figure let scientists presume that the game might had been meant for 4 people, though the exact rules of the game are unknown. It is very possible that the answer to this riddle might be hidden in other, yet to be explored regions.

Besides the set, bronze tips, stamps, painted and unpainted ceramics, hundreds of small bronze figures, and fragments of decorations of stone have been discovered at the site.

Archaeologists are certain that the development of human thought has been accompanied by invention of intellectual entertainment. It is hardly a coincidence that the region is not only the probable homeland of board games, but the place of origin of oldest states and cities.


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