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Types of 2x5-class game boards in Asia Minor

Types of 2x5-class game boards in Asia Minor

Contexts in source publication

Context 1
... Blinkenberg 1898: 2-5 fig.1-8; Pritchett 1968: 189-191 nos.1-3. ...
Context 2
... 1995Pritchett 1968: 197 pl.7,1;Breitenstein 1941: 19 fig.25; May 1991: 179 fig.174, who wrongly dates it to Roman times. ...
Context 3
... Chavane 1975 pl.53 no.576, pl.54 and 73 no.577, 204 fig.12 and pl.54 no.578. ...
Context 4
... Murray 1940: 35 fig.10, incised in the rock together with two boards of 2x10 squares. ...
Context 5
... the boards as "jeux des douze lignes", i.e. XII scripta/alea boards. But the boards are clearly 2x11-squares boards. 31. Murray 1940: 35 fig.10, incised in the rock together with two boards of 2x10 squares. 32. Caputo 1987: 121 pl.94,3. 33. Akurgal 1993: 122-123. 34. Gatti 1904 fig.2 and 4; for the other gaming boards see Schädler 1995: 89 fig.11a, 94s. fig.12a. For gaming boards with leaves see Schädler 1995: 87 fig.6a and 6h, 88 fig.7. 35. Chavane 1975: 197 pl.54 and204 fig.12 no.578. 36. Pankhurst 1971: 154;Walker 1990: 37. 37. Parker 1909: 160-161. 38. See Walker 1990. I quote from a letter dating 14th of July 1996 by Edgar B. Pusch, Hildesheim, to the present writer: "Das ...
Context 6
... 1904 fig.2 and 4; for the other gaming boards see Schädler 1995: 89 fig.11a, 94s. fig.12a. For gaming boards with leaves see Schädler 1995: 87 fig.6a and 6h, 88 fig.7. ...
Context 7
... 1328) have never been regarded as mancala-boards and are likely to be associated with contemporary senet boards showing three rows of circles (see a.e. Petrie 1927: 53-55 pl.48 no.3, no.4 = Pusch 1979: 374 pl.94 no.80, 376 pl.95 no.81; Kendall 1991: 151 fig.145 wron- gly identified as "game of twenty squares"), certainly not with XII scripta/alea as Dunbabin 1962: 132 took it. ...
Context 8
... Rollefson 1992: 1-4 fig.1. 42. ...
Context 9
... dice have also been found in archaeological diggings, and ethnologists have collected modern examples. ( Fig. 1 and 2) After López de Gómara (1552), Father Cobo (Cobo 1653) says that 'el llamado Pichca era como de dados: jugábanlo con un solo dado de 5 puntos'. Murúa (Murúa 1590, II, 13) describes it as a teetotum ('como una perinola'), adding further 'the Indians play with one die, called pichca, with 5 points on one side, 1 on the other, 2 on the other and 3 on the other, plus side 4; the crossed top is 5, and the bottom of the die is 20' (III, 25). ...
Context 10
... (III, 25). For González Holguín (1608), pichkana is a 'six-sided piece of wood' ('Ppichca. Un juego como de dados. -Ppichcana. Un palo seizavado con que juegan.'). This is exactly what the ethnologists (Rivet 1925;Karsten 1930;Hartmann & Oberem 1968;Hocquenghem 1979) and the archaeologists (e.g. at Machu Picchu: see Bingham 1915 b, p. 176;1930, fig. 172, b-h, quoted in Rowe 1946) have ...
Context 11
... One of them (no. 32 - Fig. 5a & Fig. 6) is without doubt a taptana/komina board; another one (no. 37 - Fig. 5b) looks like a 'spoiled' board. Although the author dates these graffiti in the 17th century, he demonstrates that they are related to Precolumbian traditions. Stewart Culin too reports a Peruvian game called solitario (Culin 1898: 876, fig. 183; also Murray 1952: 100, no. 5.2.1) which shows the same triangular appendix (Fig. ...
Context 12
... of Chile. The Mapuches were influenced by the Inca culture: it is no surprise if their games show strong similarities with the Inca games. By chance, early descriptions of the Araucanians are very informative (e.g. De Ovalle 1646) and all give detailed accounts on their games. Alonso De Ovalle has even illustrations showing two games in action (Fig. 10). There the game was called huayru (wayru), which, as we know, is a synonym of ...
Context 13
... liked very much, is very similar to backgammon, but instead of dice they use a wooden triangle marked with dots that they cast through a circle There is a strong parallel between the Inca pichqa and the Mapuche kechu: not only have they roughly the same shape (see Mátus Z. 1918-19: fig. 49 et 50 for two dice from the Museo nacional de Chile [Fig. 12]; Cooper 1949 states that the 'pyramidal' die - either with 5 or 7 sides -is common to all Andean cultures), not only both words mean 'five', but they were both used for two related games, a simple dice game and a race game. So kechukawe is the exact equivalent of the Inca pichqa, and it is reasonable to think the race game kechukawe is ...
Context 14
... del ajedrez, al cual dan el nombre de comican' ('the ingenious game of chess, to which they give the name comican). Komikan was still played in the early 20th century and was described by Manquilef (Manquilef 1914: § 3, 'Komikan') and by Mátus (Mátus Z. 1918-19): it is a hunt game played on a latticed board with a triangle added to one side (see Fig. 12). It is also called leoncito. There are 38 points (25 on the main board + 13 on the added triangle). One side has 12 men (Spanish perros 'dogs' or perritos 'little dogs') and the other has one bigger and more powerful piece called komikelu or leon. The perritos move one step ahead; they try to hem the lion in. The leon alone has the ...
Context 15
... without naming it, a game of 'porotos o habas' (beans): 'they choose for that the white and they paint them black on one side (…); they drop them on the ground through a suspended circle or a large ring; the player whose beans fall with painted faces up wins the highest score.' Moreover, the players blow themselves on their breasts! (see Fig. 10 De Ovalle's picture 'Modi ludendi indorum' with the perched ring). In the late 17th century Rosales (post 1674) described a game called uies said to resemble dice. The player shout at the beans (in Pereira Salas 1947: 219). According to Carvallo's Descripción … del reino de Chile, c. 1796(in Medina 1952, lligues are '12 halves of ...
Context 16
... game of patolli is still a riddle. Only the "superstitious" aspects of the game and the heavy betting that went with it are well documented. If we are to believe what the earliest Spanish chroniclers wrote about the native American games of chance, we must assume that by the end of the sixteenth century the Mesoamerican games were abolished ( fig. 1) and replaced by Spanish or Old World games (Duran 1967, Sahagún 1981. Besides, the twentieth century ethnographers and anthropologists do not show much interest in the games of the native Americans either. The reason probably is that there is no direct demonstrable association between modern recreational games and divination. No ...
Context 17
... it must be considered a lucky coincidence that this author recently had the opportunity to observe a Maya board game in the field (3) . In the tide of modern civilization and technology even the most isolated communities are swiftly substituting their cultural heritage for the "blessings" of westernized societies. And thus, the Fig. 1: Execution of a patolli player. His patolli board, dice, counters and bundle with supersticious objects are being burnt (Relaciones Geográficas: Tlaxcala, Tomo I. 241v ...
Context 18
... The grains are placed in a straight line, some 5 cm apart, the intervals being the points of play. The board is called bej, the 'road', which is the circuit the players have to run up and down from their starting point. Depending on the number of players, more than ten or sixteen, the road is lengthened with five or ten more grains respectively ( fig. ...
Context 19
... ago he discovered in the Mexican state of Puebla a race game called petol, that he considered to be a regional variant of the famous ancient game (Caso 1924-27: 203-211). The Nahua-speaking descendants of the Aztecs now use four short stick-dice, made of split reeds, two of which are marked differently with crossed lines in their hollow insides ( fig. 11). Caso also refers to Durán to prove the ancient origin of the stick-dice. This set of cane dice resembles the various North American sets described by , not only in their markings but also in the throwing and scoring method. However, the resemblance of this Nahua petol game with other Mesoamerican games is quite striking and offers ...
Context 20
... patron deity of the patolli game, as is illustrated on folio 60 of the Codex Maggliabecchi ( fig. 9). The importance of the number five is also reflected in the name of the Purehpecha board game kuiliche or kolítza (Beals and Carrasco 1944: 519;Soto Bravo 1992: 3). Both words label the throw that counts five, although the highest score is 35 ( fig. 13). The higher scores, due to extra markings on two of the reeds are probably a colonial introduction. This is probably also the case with the Nahua petol dice. According to Caso the reed that now is worth 15 is a substitute for the ancient value of 5 or 10. (11) The Maya game of bul exemplifies the simplest version of the scoring method ...
Context 21
... replacement [5] is another pan-Mesoamerican characteristic. No matter the shape or length of the circuit, the teams have their own entrances [6] on the board. As to the boards indeed, there are differences. The modern Nahua petol board for instance, shows the "modification" of the ancient Aztec cruciform pattern into a swastika shaped circuit ( fig. 12). According to Caso this change probably did not affect the character of the game, as neither did the substitution of patolli beans by cane dice. Which means that in Caso's opinion the ancient patolli was a race game. What is (Weitlaner and Castro, 1973: 192, fig. 47) especially important in this comparative study is how the circuit is ...
Context 22
... petol variant the players run their men only along three arms of the cross. The pieces enter at the opposing far ends of the bent arms of the swastika and move by the throws towards the centre of the board. Then the counters run along the two stretched arms of the cross. It is only in this straight section (in fact between the points 10 and 40 of fig. 12) that the men can be captured. When a player arrives again at the arm of his entrance, on point 42 of fig. 12, he is not vulnerable anymore. He just has to get a correct throw to leave the circuit. His opponents leave along their own 'safe' arm. By counting the number of points the teams have to run Caso found a strong indication that ...
Context 23
... ends of the bent arms of the swastika and move by the throws towards the centre of the board. Then the counters run along the two stretched arms of the cross. It is only in this straight section (in fact between the points 10 and 40 of fig. 12) that the men can be captured. When a player arrives again at the arm of his entrance, on point 42 of fig. 12, he is not vulnerable anymore. He just has to get a correct throw to leave the circuit. His opponents leave along their own 'safe' arm. By counting the number of points the teams have to run Caso found a strong indication that the modern petol game reflects the symbolic numbers related with the ancient Mexican chronology and astronomy, ...
Context 24
... In the Mexican state of Oaxaca the anthropologist Weitlaner observed a patolli variant, called los palos ("the sticks", obviously named after the cane dice they use), with a similar common circuit of going up and down a straight line (Weitlaner and Castro 1973: 189, 191-2). The 'safe' entrance arms, however, are moved to the ends of the line (fig. 14). This means that in the Oaxaca variant, los palos, the players enter the common part of the circuit at the ends of the line, and not in the middle. Thus there is little resemblance left with the original Aztec cruciform board, except for the cross markings, which remind of the enigmatic markings on the original boards (figs. 1, 2 and ...

Citations

... While this may seem unreasonably critical of this evidence, the identification of these patterns as mancala game boards remains speculative. Since Schädler's (1998) study of game boards in Roman Asia Minor, it has become clear that many game boards previously thought to be mancala boards are more likely instances of the game of five lines. Several sites with a Roman presence, including sites in the western part of the empire (see Figure 2.), feature the game of five lines as two rows of five holes, making mancala a second choice at best. ...
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Mancala games are commonly defined by the appearance of the boards and mode of moving the pieces. The similarities have led to the belief that most mancala games are historically related or that they may be identified by appearances alone. Their ubiquity in Africa and their occurrence as graffiti boards on ancient monuments has created speculation about their antiquity. To this date their ancient status cannot be confirmed by archaeological or historical evidence. Based on today’s understanding, mancala games are of distinct kinds with separate histories while their antiquity goes back hundreds of years but not yet thousands. Mancala games have been instrumental in showing that so-called complex societies and the presence of board games are not necessarily related. By extension, state formation and the development of board games should not be connected based on the evidence of contemporary mancala gaming practices.
... While there is much archaeological evidence of ancient games, the rules for playing them are usually lost [8] and must be reconstructed by modern historians according to their knowledge of the cultures in which they were played [9], [10]. The rules for ancient and early games were typically passed on through oral tradition rather than being transcribed, which may have contributed to their variation and embellishment into the range of games that we see today [8], but means that our understanding of early games is largely based on modern reconstructions. ...
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Games potentially provide a wealth of knowledge about our shared cultural past and the development of human civilisation, but our understanding of early games is incomplete and often based on unreliable reconstructions. This paper describes the Digital Ludeme Project, a five-year research project currently underway that aims to address such issues using modern computational techniques.
... Egyptian games such as senet and mehen have a distribution mainly limited to Egypt (Rothöhler, 1996;Kendall, 2007). Similarly, although some Roman graffiti games have a wide geographic distribution (e.g., Roman "mancala" has been found in Ephesos (Schädler, 1998), Palmyra (de Voogt, 2010a) and northern Egypt (Mulvin and Sidebotham, 2004)), they adhere to the boundaries of the Roman Empire. The game of latrunculus (Austin, 1934(Austin, , 1935Schädler, 1994) is found from England to the Egypt-Sudan border and was probably distributed by soldiers, who were the main players of this game. ...
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Sexual division of labor with females as gatherers and males as hunters is a major empirical regularity of hunter-gatherer ethnography, suggesting an ancestral behavioral pattern. We present an archeological discovery and meta-analysis that challenge the man-the-hunter hypothesis. Excavations at the Andean highland site of Wilamaya Patjxa reveal a 9000-year-old human burial (WMP6) associated with a hunting toolkit of stone projectile points and animal processing tools. Osteological, proteomic, and isotopic analyses indicate that this early hunter was a young adult female who subsisted on terrestrial plants and animals. Analysis of Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene burial practices throughout the Americas situate WMP6 as the earliest and most secure hunter burial in a sample that includes 10 other females in statistical parity with early male hunter burials. The findings are consistent with nongendered labor practices in which early hunter-gatherer females were big-game hunters.
... Charpentier et al. [20] refer to a board of two rows with five holes discovered in excavations of a Roman fort in Egypt and Palmyra (Syria). Whereas Mulvin and Sidebotham [42] believe that is associated with a Mancala game by Romans, Schaedler [43] means that it was used to a game of five lines, not associated with Mancala. It was the only type of board in Palmyra from the Roman Empire; however, Arabs and Ottomans used different configurations in this site later [44]. ...
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The Kalah game represents the most popular version of probably the oldest board game ever—the Mancala game. From this viewpoint, the art of playing Kalah can contribute to cultural heritage. This paper primarily focuses on a review of Kalah history and on a survey of research made so far for solving and analyzing the Kalah game (and some other related Mancala games). This review concludes that even if strong in-depth tree-search solutions for some types of the game were already published, it is still reasonable to develop less time-consumptive and computationally-demanding playing algorithms and their strategies Therefore, the paper also presents an original heuristic algorithm based on particular deterministic strategies arising from the analysis of the game rules. Standard and modified mini–max tree-search algorithms are introduced as well. A simple C++ application with Qt framework is developed to perform the algorithm verification and comparative experiments. Two sets of benchmark tests are made; namely, a tournament where a mid–experienced amateur human player competes with the three algorithms is introduced first. Then, a round-robin tournament of all the algorithms is presented. It can be deduced that the proposed heuristic algorithm has comparable success to the human player and to low-depth tree-search solutions. Moreover, multiple-case experiments proved that the opening move has a decisive impact on winning or losing. Namely, if the computer plays first, the human opponent cannot beat it. Contrariwise, if it starts to play second, using the heuristic algorithm, it nearly always loses.
... Roman period boards provide more reliable data, most of the square specimens belong to the B-type. Two examples of association of merels board with mancala game are found in western Turkey: a square and a round merels boards carved on a major Roman period street of Ephesus (west Turkey) (second century BC -AD third century), and a square board on a step of the Aphrodisias theatre (first century BC -AD fourth century) (Schädler 1998;Roueché and de Chaisemartin 1993: 109). Many other examples of round and square Roman period merels boards have been discovered in Sevilla region (Amores 2014). ...
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The merels game is a kind of board game that has been played in the Mediterranean region since the Antiquity and spread all over Eurasia during the Middle Age. There are three types of merels boards in China, among which the type with three-layer concentric squares and diagonals is the most common. After reviewing all the available archaeological data, this article shows that this game spread to China along the grassland Silk Roads. It was introduced into the Bohai State at the latest during the Tang Dynasty (AD ninth century) and became popular in the northern grassland and northeast China regions during the Liao and Jin Dynasties (AD tenth-thirteenth centuries). It spreads to the Central Plains as early as the Northern Song Dynasty and kept on circulating during the following centuries. During the Ming Dynasty, it was called “Macheng” and became a popular chess game often played in the streets.
... sometimes shared games can be evidence of likely contact between cultures). Evidence found typically only paints a partial picture of how games were played historically (Murray, 1952;Schädler, 1998Schädler, , 2013. For example, evidence can consist of boards and pieces without recorded rules, or incomplete written descriptions of a rule set. ...
... Research context While there is much archaeological evidence of ancient games, the rules for playing them are usually lost [3] and must be reconstructed by historians according to their knowledge of the cultures in which they were played [4,5]. While there has been considerable historical research into games and their use as tools of cultural analysis, much is based on the interpretation of partial evidence with little mathematical analysis, and our modern understanding of ancient games is based on (unreliable) modern reconstructions. ...
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... sometimes shared games can be evidence of likely contact between cultures). Evidence found typically only paints a partial picture of how games were played historically (Murray, 1952;Schädler, 1998Schädler, , 2013. For example, evidence can consist of boards and pieces without recorded rules, or incomplete written descriptions of a rule set. ...
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Digital Archaeoludology (DAL) is a new field of study involving the analysis and reconstruction of ancient games from incomplete descriptions and archaeological evidence using modern computational techniques. The aim is to provide digital tools and methods to help game historians and other researchers better understand traditional games, their development throughout recorded human history, and their relationship to the development of human culture and mathematical knowledge. This work is being explored in the ERC-funded Digital Ludeme Project. The aim of this inaugural international research meeting on DAL is to gather together leading experts in relevant disciplines - computer science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, computational phylogenetics, mathematics, history, archaeology, anthropology, etc. - to discuss the key themes and establish the foundations for this new field of research, so that it may continue beyond the lifetime of its initiating project.
... Because of the difficulty in identifying game boards and their paraphernalia in prehistoric archaeological contexts without textual sources (as discussed in greater detail in Chapter IV), research on board games in ancient societies has focused on a limited number of games that have been easily identifiable due to their resemblance to modern games that are, in some cases, also well-attested in textual evidence. The most commonly discussed ancient board games are the games of senet and mehen from Egypt (Kendall 1979;Montet 1955;Piccione 1990a;1990b;Pusch 1979;Ranke 1920;Vandier 1964), twenty squares (or "Royal Game of Ur) and fifty-eight holes (or "hounds and jackals " in Egypt) from the Near East (Carnarvon and Carter 1912;Dunn-Vaturi and Schädler 2006;Finkel 2007;Gadd 1934;Hoerth 1961;Pusch 2007, Rothöler 1996, pente grammai ("five lines") from Greece (Kurke 2002;Schädler 1998;, ludus latrunculorum ("game of robbers") and ludus duodecrim scripta ("game of twelve signs") from the Roman Empire (Austin 1932;1935, Krüger 1982Lamer 1927;Mulvin and Sidebotham 2002;Schädler 1994;Trifilò 2011) , and patolli from Mesoamerica (Bente Bittman and Swezey 1983;Caso 1924Caso -1927Smith 1977;Wanyerka 1999). While, historically, focus has been on finely made games that were used by the elite, in more recent years research has turned to more crudely manufactured patterns that have been interpreted as games based on their archaeological context and similarity to known examples. ...
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Thesis
This study frames research on board games within a body of anthropological theory and method to examine the long-term social changes that effect play and mechanisms through which play may influence societal change. Drawing from ethnographic literature focusing on the performative nature of games and their effectiveness at providing a method for strengthening social bonds through grounding, I examine changes in the places in which people engaged in play over the course of the Bronze Age on Cyprus (circa 2500–1050 BCE), a period of increasing social complexity. The purpose of this research is to examine how the changes in social boundaries concomitant with emergent complexity were counteracted or strengthened through the use of games as tools of interaction. Bronze Age sites on Cyprus have produced the largest dataset of game boards belonging to any ancient culture. Weight and morphological data were gathered from these artifacts to determine the likelihood of their portability and to identify what type of game was present. The presence of fixed and likely immobile games, as well as the presence of clusters of portable games, was used to identify spaces in which games were played. Counts of other types of artifacts found in the same spaces as games were tabulated, and Correspondence Analysis (CA) was performed in order to determine differences in the types of activities present in the same spaces as play. The results of the CA showed that during the Prehistoric Bronze Age, which has fewer indicators of social complexity, gaming spaces were associated with artifacts related to consumption or specialty, heirloom and imported ceramics, and rarely played in public spaces. During the Protohistoric Bronze Age, when Cyprus was more socially complex, games were more commonly played in public spaces and associated with ii artifacts related to consumption. These changes suggest a changing emphasis through time, where the initiation and strengthening of social bonds through the grounding process afforded by play is more highly valued in small-scale society, whereas the social mobility that is enabled by performance during play is exploited more commonly during periods of complexity.
... In other words, players in history may have experimented with randomizing devices and may have used varying sets of them without any visible repercussion on the remainder of the board game implements. In the history of board games it is shown that games may have varying board sizes and number of playing pieces while at the same time different games may be played on the same board, even using the same playing implements (Finkel, 2004, p. 54) Schädler (1998). Such variation that is found with board games complicates our understanding of their development in history . ...
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When looking at variations in games, the board and the playing pieces provide evidence, but so do the number of dice that are part of play. It is shown that the number of dice being used not only affects the game but that the definition of the values for each throw have significant and game-altering implications. All variations under scrutiny in this study do not appear as radically different games physically or perceptually. It illustrates a situation in which significant changes in strategy and playing length due to changes in randomizing instruments did not necessitate changes in the overall board or the number of playing pieces. In other words, players in history may have experimented with randomizing devices and may have used varying sets of them without any visible repercussion on the remainder of the board game implements. In the history of board games it is shown that games may have varying board sizes and number of playing pieces while at the same time different games may be played on the same board, even using the same playing implements Schädler (1998). Such variation that is found with board games complicates our understanding of their development in history. The attestation of a game board is not sufficient to rule out a set of different games being played on that same board, while variations of board design do not necessarily point at different playing communities (Finkel, 2004, p. 54). In order to understand the historical development of board games it is necessary to document what set of rules, boards and playing instruments were present at a particular point in time. Changes in observable variations can then be traced over time and across geographical regions to map the historical development and distribution of board games (see de Voogt, A.J., A.-E. Dunn-Vaturi & J.W. Eerkens, 2013; Murray, 1952, p. 133). This is an ongoing effort in archaeology but even descriptions of contemporary board games allow us to understand what variations are common within a players’ community. In the following study, we analyze a set of games, which have minor variations in board size and number of playing pieces as well as known variations of randomizing implements, in this case cowries and cubic dice. The role of randomizing devices in the history and distribution of board games is not yet informed by a better understanding on how such implements affect a game. For this we looked at both the implications for strategy and playing time, the latter expressed as the average number of moves necessary to complete (part of) a game. While the results of this study do not seem to facilitate conclusions when different types and numbers of dice are attested, they do confirm that players are not bound by these implements and that dice variation should be considered common rather than an unusual phenomenon that requires historical explanation.