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

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

The wealthy historical past of Egypt has supplied recognized examples of board video games performed in antiquity. each one of those video games presents proof of touch among Egypt and its neighbours. From pre-dynastic rule to Arab and Ottoman invasions, Egypt's previous is obvious on video game boards.

This quantity starts off via introducing the reader to board video games in addition to tools of likelihood and is going directly to hint the background and distribution of historical Egyptian video games, taking a look relatively at how they express touch with different cultures and civilizations. online game practices, which have been additionally a part of Egyptian rituals and divination, travelled in the course of the japanese Mediterranean. This booklet explores the function of Egypt in accepting and disseminating video games in the course of its lengthy historical past. over the past few years, the level and the modes of touch became larger understood via museum and archival study tasks in addition to surveys of archaeological websites in Egypt and its surrounding areas. the consequences let new perception into historical Egypt's diplomacy and the position of board video games study in figuring out its extent.

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

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Additional info for Ancient Egyptians at Play: Board Games Across Borders (Bloomsbury Egyptology)

Sample text

This stands in stark contrast to the appearance of mehen in the Levant, where it appears during the first half of the third millennium bce , and disappears after Egypt became less reliant on middlemen in Canaan after it seized control of the copper mines in Sinai (see below with regard to senet in the Levant), never to reappear again. It is possible Canaanites held a close association between the game and its Egyptian origin that was not shared in Cyprus. Canaanites would have seen Egyptians playing mehen more frequently than Cypriots, who may have first acquired the game at Byblos, where there was a sizable Egyptian colony.

A unique context for a senet game is found in the wall paintings of the mastaba of Mereruka. This playing scene is shown in the context of agricultural activities and the harvesting and presentation of funerary offerings to the deceased, who is depicted on an enlarged scale (Saqqara Expedition 1938:2). The context of the funerary ritual remains the same as those discussed above, yet the clearly celebratory nature of those scenes is absent from this example. The depictions of senet in the Sixth Dynasty tombs of Kahep and Kheni at el-Hawawish in Upper Egypt (Kanawati 1980:21, 1981:22) do not depict the playing of senet, but rather show senet boards included among mortuary equipment in a carpenter’s workshop (Piccione 1990a:43).

It is possible that mehen boards may also have once been made of wood, but did not survive. There have been multiple tombs that have produced sets of mehen pieces of the type depicted in the tomb of Hesy-Re without an accompanying board, which argues the board itself has decomposed. Indeed, no mehen pieces have been found associated with a board (Kendall 2007:34– 5), so it is very likely there were boards made out of perishable materials that have not been preserved; however, decomposed boards should not be inferred in every case, and such conclusions should only be made when complete or near-complete sets are found.

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