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19th-century game pieces found at Tasmanian penitentiary

Ceramic and lead game tokens have been unearthed during excavations at the 19th-century penitentiary building at the Port Arthur Historical Site in Tasmania. Although we have only just finished excavating the topsoil, we have already found some very interesting artefacts. The highlight would have to be a number of gaming tokens.

Medieval chess pieces found in England

Two medieval chess pieces carved from antler have been found in the East Midlands of England. "They provide us with clear evidence of antler and bone working in the town, making something which is effectively a leisure product. "It took quite a lot of effort to hand carve and finish these kind

7th-century game piece found in England

A game piece dating back to the 7th century A.D. has been found at an Anglo-Saxon site in Kent, England. "This piece comes from a high-end – Harrods – backgammon set," the Reading University archaeologist Gabor Thomas said. "Not only high-end but quite possibly Italian – Ferrari – high-end, as the

Bronze age game pieces found in Turkey

Archaeologists believe they have unearthed the world's oldest yet-found gaming pieces in a Bronze Age burial in Turkey. Small carved stones unearthed in a nearly 5,000-year-old burial could represent the earliest gaming tokens ever found, according to Turkish archaeologists who are excavating early Bronze Age graves. Found in a burial at Ba?ur

Full set of 400-year-old playing cards discovered

A complete set of silver playing cards, made in Germany around 1616, has been found. Creating the card set would have been a hazardous job. For the gilding, its designers used mercury, a poisonous substance that can potentially kill. "You ground up gold into kind of a dust, and you mix it

1,000-year-old game board found at Maya site

A 1000-year-old game board has been found on the Maya site of Dzibilnocac in Mexico. “It is an esgraffito scoreboard of approximately 50 centimeters (19.68 inches) on each side, which was discovered on the floor of the second highest space” in the building denoted A1, the archaeologist said. Etched into the surface

The history of board games

Discovery News has posted an interesting article about the history of board games. The study, published in the journal Antiquity, mentions that board games likely originated and disseminated from Egypt and the Fertile Crescent regions at around 3500 B.C. From there, they spread around the Mediterranean before reaching the Roman Empire

Pre-Columbian Ballplayer monolith found in Mexico

A monolith of a pre-Columbian ballplayer which dates between 900 A.D. - 1000 A.D. has been found in Zacatecas, Mexico. The pre-Columbian sculpture was excavated from a depth of 1.5 meters (5 feet), the INAH said in a statement, noting that another sculpture depicting a ballplayer was located at the end