Royal Game of Ur
The Royal Game of Ur refers to two game boards found in Royal Tombs of Ur by Sir Leonard Woolley in the 1920s. The two boards date from the First Dynasty of Ur, before 2600 BC, thus making the Royal Game of Ur probably the oldest set of board gaming equipment ever found. One of the two boards is exhibited in the collections of the British Museum in London.
The Royal Game of Ur was played with two sets (one black and one white) of seven markers and three pyramidal dice. The rules of the game as it was played in Mesopotamia are not known but there is a reliable reconstruction of game play based on a cuneiform tablet of Babylonian origin dating from 177-176 BC. It is universally agreed that the Royal Game of Ur, like Senet, is a race game. Both games may be predecessors to the present-day backgammon.
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