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13 09, 2017

West Asian games – Mesopotamia and Iran

By |2019-09-05T05:41:09-07:00September 13th, 2017|West Asia|0 Comments

Earliest known dice (Iran, ca. 2600 BC) See that the six is already opposite the one, as on modern dice? But check out this Harappan die. The people of West Asia really liked gambling games. The earliest dice in the world are from a backgammon set from ancient Persia (modern Iran), from about 3000 BC. Backgammon probably came from even [...]

2 09, 2017

Roman games: What games did Roman people play?

By |2018-09-10T05:43:42-07:00September 2nd, 2017|Games, Romans|0 Comments

Roman dice were involved in many Roman games Neither cards nor chess... Roman people played most of the different kinds of games that people play today. There are two important exceptions. The first one is  chess. Chess did not come to Europe from India until the Islamic Empire, about 1000 AD. The second one is card games, [...]

8 08, 2017

Native American games – lacrosse, swimming, dice

By |2018-04-11T18:30:20-07:00August 8th, 2017|Games, Native American|0 Comments

Cherokee lacrosse players from 1888 People who lived in North America played both active games and the kind where you can sit down. Their favorite active game was lacrosse. Or actually lacrosse and a lot of other games that you play with a stick and a ball, with rules that were different in different parts [...]

1 08, 2017

Medieval games – Games people played in Europe in the Middle Ages

By |2019-09-13T06:44:39-07:00August 1st, 2017|Medieval|17 Comments

Medieval games: Women playing chess Early medieval games: Dice, checkers, chess The games of medieval Europe were mainly the same as those of Egypt, Greece, and Rome: dice, knucklebones, marbles, checkers. But there were some new games, too. In the Middle Ages, chess came to Europe from the Islamic Empire. When the Arabs took over Spain, in 711 AD, they brought chess with them, and it [...]

23 07, 2017

Medieval Islamic games

By |2018-05-08T15:25:26-07:00July 23rd, 2017|Africa, Games, Islam, West Asia|1 Comment

Medieval Islamic games: Muslims playing chess in Spain Chess from India The big new game of the Islamic Empire was chess. The Arabs learned to play chess from the Sassanians when they conquered them, and probably the Sassanians learned chess from people in India. Indian people themselves seem to have learned at least some version [...]

20 07, 2017

Indian games: ancient India

By |2019-09-17T11:36:24-07:00July 20th, 2017|India|2 Comments

Indian games: A die found in excavations at a Harappan period site. Note that the six is not opposite the one. The first games in India People brought the idea of throwing the knucklebones of sheep or pigs to tell the future, or to play a game of skill like jacks, when they first came from Africa to India about 40,000 BC. [...]

23 06, 2017

Gambling games and dolls – History of games

By |2019-07-01T08:45:17-07:00June 23rd, 2017|Games|0 Comments

Gambling games: Greek girls playing knucklebones (ca. 200 BC, now in British Museum) People loved to gamble Gambling games were very popular all over the world from as early as we can tell. People played games with knucklebones and cowrie shells, and with flat sticks. Early African games Mesopotamian games Ancient Indian games [...]

23 06, 2017

History of dice – When were dice invented?

By |2019-05-07T11:06:28-07:00June 23rd, 2017|Games, West Asia|0 Comments

Early dice from ancient Egypt: History of dice How old are dice? People have been playing dice games for a very long time. The very first dice were just sheep knucklebones, and you won if it landed on the right one of the four flat sides. People have been throwing knucklebones since at [...]

14 06, 2017

Ancient Egyptian games: play and toys in ancient Egypt

By |2019-09-10T06:51:22-07:00June 14th, 2017|Egypt|24 Comments

Ancient Egyptian games:  knucklebones Egyptian board games: senet and mancala Ancient Egyptian games were a lot like some games people still play today. Some Egyptian games were traditional African games. (More about African games) The Egyptians learned other games from their West Asian neighbors. (More about West Asian games) People in ancient Egypt played [...]

31 05, 2017

Central Asian board games

By |2018-04-16T12:31:30-07:00May 31st, 2017|Central Asia, Games|0 Comments

Kids playing knucklebones (Burma) Central Asian people played a lot of active games, but they also played games sitting down. Because Central Asian people spent a lot of time herding cattle and sheep, their most popular games involved small animal bones, mainly vertebrae, and the games were like the American game of jacks, or knucklebones. [...]