Ancient board game from Poprad is only one of two in the world

The second one has been discovered in Egypt.

The ancient wooden board game from Poprad is only of the two of its kind in the world. The ancient wooden board game from Poprad is only of the two of its kind in the world. (Source: RTVS)

The ancient wooden board game discovered in the tomb of a Germanic prince in Poprad in 2006 is one of two ancient board games found in the world to date, as reported by the SITA newswire.

“One was found in Egypt and the latter in Poprad,” said the deputy of director of the Archaeological Institute in Nitra, Karol Pieta, as quoted by SITA. He also led the research in Poprad.

Similar games were found on the floor of Greek and Roman temples or on the streets of ancient towns. However, they were engraved into the stone unlike the wooden and portable one discovered in Poprad.

Rules of the ancient board game

Years after the board game was found in eastern Slovakia, Slovak archaeologists asked ancient games expert Ulrich Schädler from Switzerland to explain the rules of this 1,600-year-old game.

The ancient game, which came to Slovakia's territory during the Roman Empire, has chess-like squares and probably followed the rules of draughts.

Read also:Ancient board game has no parallel in Europe Read more 

“Games changed very often, just like today,” said Pieta, as quoted by SITA. “Therefore, several games could have been played using the same board and stones.”

Players used dark green and white stones of two different sizes. But it remains unknown how many stones were required for the game.

Only six pieces made of Syrian glass have been preserved since the tomb was robbed in the past.

Despite this, it is one of the best-preserved ancient wooden board games ever found north of the Mediterranean Sea, said Schädler.

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