Ancient Board Games in Perspective

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9780714111537: Ancient Board Games in Perspective

Table of contents: Preface (John Curtis); The Study of Board Games and the present volume (I.F. Finkel); 1. The Earliest materials Homo Ludens: Early Board Games in the Near East (St. John Simpson); 2. Ancient Mesopotamia The Royal Game of Ur (A. Becker); The Game and the play of the Royal Game of Ur (I.F. Finkel); 3. Egypt Mehen: the ancient game of the serpent (Timothy Kendall); Were there gamesters in ancient Egypt? (W.J. Tait);The Egyptian game of senet and the migration of the soul, (Peter A. Piccione); The game of hounds and jackals (A.J. Hoerth); The ancient Egyptian 20 field game (E. Pusch); 4. The Classical World Board games and their symbols from Roman times to early Christianity (Anita Rieche); Inscribed imperial Roman gaming boards (N. Purcell); Pavement signs and game boards of the Graeco-Roman world, a BM typology (R.C. Bell & C. Roueché); Late Roman and Byzantine game boards at Aphrodisias (C. Roueché); 5. Chess The beginnings of chess (Michael Mark); Changing cultures: the reception of chess into W. Europe in the Middle Ages (Richard Earles); Problems with the dating of chess with reference to Shatrang (Raymond Keene); 6. Backgammon New evidence from central Asia for board game history (G. Semenov); India in the history of backgammon (M. Soar); Notes on the early history of the backgammon family in China (Andrew Lo); A late eleventh century tabluae set from Gloucester (Ian J. Stewart); A brief history of backgammon and the design of the board (M. Watkins); 7. India and the Far East Game boards at Vijayanagara: a preliminary report (John M. Fritz and David Gibson); Horse coins: pieces for Da ma, the Chinese board game Driving Horses (Joe Cribb); An Introduction to board games in late imperial China (Andrew Lo); Go in ancient China (John Fairbairn); 8. Mankala An overview of Mankala rules and variations (L. Russ); The typological spread of the Mankala table for the above (Philip Townsend); Mankala game boards as African emblems of status (Rosly Adele Walker); 9. Miscellaneous studies The pursuit of Hnefatafl (I. Riddler); The history and rules of Rithmomachia, the philosopher's game (J. Stigter); Robert Culin and New World games (Bonita Freeman-Witthoft).

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About the Author:

Dr Irving Finkel is a curator in the Dept of the Ancient Near East at The British Museum.

Review:

this book is alive with history and ideas and knock about debate. The sheer mixture and scope of topics is mind blowing... Interesting and satisfying academic writing that succeeds in being engaging and entertaining.' (Graham Brown Graham Brown, 2007)

Some things are worth waiting for, and this book falls well within that category [...] This is a book for the scholar as well as the inveterate gamester.' (Peter A. Clayton Minerva, 2008)

This beautifully-produced volume is a magnificent milestone in the study of ancient board games.' (Andrew Robinson Current World Archaeology, 2008)

All the contributors are experts, and they base their information on original sources. Particularly impressive is Micaela Soars discussion of board games and backgammon in ancient Indian sculpture [...] superbly illustrated...' (S.A. Riess, Northeastern Illinois University Choice)

What might stand out most in this book is the wide variety of methodologies and goals... it is refreshing to see them rub shoulders in the same text. This book should have quite a broad appeal, not only to students and scholars of a wide range of cultures and civilizations, but also to individuals with an interest in board games.' (John Aveline Bryn Mawr Classical Review)

For the reader who wants to learn everything about the origins, antiquity, spread of, and similarity between board games around the world from 10,000 BC to the twenty-first century AD, this impressive book will be more than satisfactory.' (Anne Draffkorn Kilmer, University of California, Berkeley Journal of Anthropological Research, Vol. 65, 2009)

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