Game Board and Four Game-Pieces



This board and the four surviving gaming pieces were used to play the game the Egyptians called 'Twenty Squares', which is thought to have been introduced from western Asia. The blue faience board is marked out with squares in black and there is a black border round the edges. One surface has a line of seven squares about 23 mm in length, two of which are painted black. Based on a complete board having a line of twelve squares the board would originally have been about 270 mm in length. The other side of the board is also marked out with squares, some of which contain hieroglyphs. The hollow board is mended from five fragments (with three more fragments that do not join in storage). The board was found with only four blue faience gaming pieces: two are spool-shaped and the other two are conical-shaped. Most of the contents from grave 499 A'08 were allotted to John Garstang and are now in the Garstang Museum of Archaeology at Liverpool University. A scarab was taken to Cairo (39782) and a double kohl vessel was given to Revd. William MacGregor. This was sold at auction (lot 994) to Stow, an agent for the Wellcome Historical Museum. Garstang found another similar faience gaming board in Abydos tomb 1043 A'09 that is now in the Walters Art Gallery (Baltimore, USA) accession no. 48.408 and available to view online [accessed 21 February 2014]