Scientists discover Egyptians' 'backgammon'

6th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

6 April 2006, MADRID — Egyptian aristocrats of 3,500 years ago passed the time with a backgammon-like tabletop game, Spanish archaeologists have discovered.

6 April 2006

MADRID — Egyptian aristocrats of 3,500 years ago passed the time with a backgammon-like tabletop game, Spanish archaeologists have discovered.

Jose Manuel Galan and his team made the discovery at Luxor.

The collection of marble pieces for the game, known as "senet," was found in the ancient Egyptian capital inside a mound holding the tombs of XVIII dynasty nobles Djehuty and Hery, Galan said.

The Egyptologist said that the game must have had some religious significance, as it was placed in the burial mound to accompany the deceased "during the tortuous path that brought him to eternal life".

Galan and his team found the senet pieces early this year as they were exploring a chamber 7 metres (23 feet) deep that contained the funeral accessories of a noble married couple who lived circa 1,500 B.C.

The archaeologist, who held a press conference in Madrid to present the findings of the fifth season of Project Djehuty, said that among the other 'gems' yielded up by the chamber were four multi-coloured ceramic receptacles containing a variety of things owned by the deceased.

He said that the vessels' lids, which bear the likenesses of human faces, are "unique in the world" for their age and for the archaeological context in which they were discovered.

Another highlight, Galan said, was finding the "exceptional" entrance to the vestibule of the tomb of Djehuty.

He estimated that his team will need "at least another 10 years" to complete the excavation of the Dra' Abu el-Naga necropolis at Luxor, as the mountainside contains "a street on which the tombs come one after the other like homes in a housing development".

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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