Ancient board game found in Chinese tomb

The fourteen-sided die made from an animal tooth.
Image credit: Chinese Cultural Relics/Wenwu
Date:18 November 2015 Tags:, , , ,

Archaeologists have discovered pieces from an ancient board game in a 2 300-year-old tomb near Qingzhou City in China. The board game pieces were excavated from a heavily robbed tomb, and are part of the few items that remained untouched.

The discovery includes a die made from an animal tooth, 21 numbered game pieces and a broken decorated tile. The reconstructed tile was decorated with two eyes and cloud-and-thunder patterns, says a report published in a recent Chinese Cultural Relics journal.

The die is just as detailed, with 12¬†of its faces numbered. Each number from one to six appears twice, and the last two sides are blank. The numbers on both the die and the game pieces are from an ancient form of Chinese writing known as “seal script”.

Science news site Live Science reports that the pieces seem to be part of the ancient board game called “bo” or “liubo”. A¬†researchers are still puzzled as to how the game works, it is believed that the game was last played around 1 500 years ago.

Source: Live Science

Image credit: Chinese Cultural Relics/Wenwu

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