Ancient Egyptians at Play: Board Games Across Borders by Alex de Voogt, Walter Crist, Anne-Elizabeth Dunn-Vaturi

By Alex de Voogt, Walter Crist, Anne-Elizabeth Dunn-Vaturi

The wealthy background of Egypt has supplied recognized examples of board video games performed in antiquity. every one of those video games offers facts of touch among Egypt and its neighbours. From pre-dynastic rule to Arab and Ottoman invasions, Egypt's prior is obvious on online game boards.

This quantity begins by means of introducing the reader to board video games in addition to tools of likelihood and is going directly to hint the historical past and distribution of old Egyptian video games, having a look really at how they exhibit touch with different cultures and civilizations. online game practices, that have been additionally a part of Egyptian rituals and divination, travelled in the course of the jap Mediterranean. This publication explores the position of Egypt in accepting and disseminating video games in the course of its lengthy heritage. over the past few years, the level and the modes of touch became greater understood via museum and archival study tasks in addition to surveys of archaeological websites in Egypt and its surrounding areas. the implications enable new perception into old Egypt's diplomacy and the function of board video games learn in realizing its extent.

Written by way of 3 authors identified across the world for his or her services in this subject, it will be the 1st quantity on historic Egyptian video games of its variety and a much-needed contribution to the sector of either Egyptology and board video games experiences.

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Extra resources for Ancient Egyptians at Play: Board Games Across Borders (Bloomsbury Egyptology)

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T means “passing” in Egyptian, and though any specific religious meaning the game may have held is unclear before the New Kingdom, its name does suggest at least a similar connection with the passing of the ba through the duat that is made explicit in the Book of the Dead (Kendall 1978:28–31). t hꜤb, “the passing game,” comes from the nature of gameplay where the pieces pass each other on the board. A canonical senet board is between 12 and 55 cm long, laid out in three rows of ten playing spaces, often with certain spaces marked, likely indicating a special outcome during the play of the game, as is shown below.

Pankhurst 1971; Popova 1976:439–40). It is entirely possible that such social rules existed in Old Kingdom Egypt, though this may also be a reflection of the limited amount of information that has survived regarding mehen. It is clear that one social context of mehen was its inclusion in religious celebrations dedicated to Hathor as part of mortuary ritual, as can be inferred from the playing scenes of Fifth and Sixth Dynasty tombs, which is logical considering the funerary symbolism evoked by Mehen as represented on the game.

They all contain a similar execution of the snake motif, with segmented bodies making up the individual playing spaces and differentiated heads and tails. They also exhibit a protrusion on one end, though these are smaller and more rounded in comparison to that on the Ballas mehen. It has been suggested the type of protrusion shared by these three games is a representation of a turtle’s head (Fischer 1968:17). 2 Mehen board demonstrating a Predynastic rendering of the game. 4 cm. © Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, University College London, UC 20453.

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