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Medieval Islamic games

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

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 [...]

What games did people play in ancient India?

By |2017-07-20T09:49:31-07:00July 20th, 2017|Games, India|

A die found in excavations at a Harappan period site. Note that the six is not opposite the one. 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. But people in India may have been [...]

Athletic events – Ancient Greek Olympics

By |2019-02-05T05:26:14-07:00July 6th, 2017|Games, Greeks|

Greek Olympic events - Men's footrace (Athens, ca. 530 BC) A short foot race At first, the only athletic competition at the Olympics was a single short foot race, 170 meters long. (According to one story, that was how far Herakles could run on one breath.) More about the Olympics All our Ancient [...]

Wrestling, Martial Arts, and Olympics – History of Sports

By |2018-04-20T08:29:29-07:00June 23rd, 2017|Games|

Sports history: The Discus-Thrower (ca. 450 BC) The earliest sports Indo-European people like Central Asians and the Greeks had a very strong tradition of athletic competition. Competing in, and winning, athletic competitions was for them a kind of religious ritual, as well as being good training for soldiers. Central Asian people had a [...]

Ancient Egyptian games: play and toys in ancient Egypt

By |2018-05-27T13:56:52-07:00June 14th, 2017|Africa, Egypt, Games|

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 [...]

Central Asian games – wrestling, polo, archery

By |2017-09-18T11:19:19-07:00May 31st, 2017|Central Asia, Games|

Wrestlers from Samarkand (Uzbekistan, 600s AD) People in Central Asia played games that helped them get better at skills they would need in their lives. They needed to ride horses well, so they liked to race their horses or play games like polo on their horses, where you rode horses and tried to [...]