What is the Oldest Board Game in the World – List of the Oldest Board Games

Humans get bored with things and try to be as active as possible. To prevent boredom, we have been doing activities. We, as humans, have playing instincts. We love to play. And we enjoy doing rather challenging workouts through play or games. Playing games is an activity that has been performed by humans almost always.

Since living in a civilized world, we have begun playing many games to entertain ourselves. We need to play in. Playing helps us mentally and physically, as well. Some mainly help us mentally, and some help us be physically fit.

What is the Oldest Board Game in the World

The number of games available today is staggering. Board games are familiar to all of us. They’re the best. It is a pleasure for us to play board games. We have been enjoying board games for nearly 5000 years. About 5000 years ago, we made one of the best inventions of all time. It was the invention of the world’s first board game. And from there, we loved the board games.

In this article, I will discuss What is the oldest board game in the world. So, if you want to know more about the oldest board games, keep reading.

List of the Oldest Board Game in the World

  • Senet
  • Checkers
  • Backgammon
  • Mehen
  • Royal game of UR
  • GO
  • Nine Men’s Morris
  • Chess

Brief Discussion on the Oldest Board Game in the World

Senet

Senet is properly the oldest board game in the history of board games. It is by far the most senior board game recorded. And the most exciting fact about this game is that it is still prevalent today. Interestingly, this game is still popular as the taste and the way of living have changed dramatically. Humans are a continually evolving species. We develop and alter all through our life and change the atmosphere around us. But it is good to realize that we still have a few things embodied in our hearts from ancient history.

Oldest Board Game in the World

Senet originated from ancient Egypt. The first board game senet was found in 3100 BCE at the first dynasty burials of Egypt. The senet board was made from wood, limestone, or faience and looked like rectangular slabs. Faience is ceramic earthenware made from ground quartz, coated with a brightly colored glaze, and features carved squares and symbols.

 

This game is played between two players. And the gameboard has a grid of 30 squares. The original rules of this game have been a little bit lost during all these years. Historians are not sure of the fundamental rules of this game completely. Senet Historian Timothy Kendall and RC Bell have invented new rules for playing senet. And this game is played by their rules nowadays. This game has two different kinds of pawns. Scenes found in Old Kingdom tombs, dating 2686–2160 BCE, reveal that Senet was a game of position, strategy, and a bit of luck.

Checkers

Checkers are also called draughts. Checkers are quite common and must be familiar to you. Checkers is often mistaken for chess. Chess and checker are two different games. Checkers are also played heavily to this day. It is much more common than senet. Senet, you may not know about checkers, but you have heard of them correctly. The checkers game originated in Ur’s ancient city in southern Mesopotamia. The city was founded in 3000 BCE. The game is the second oldest in the world.

Oldest Board Games in the World

Checkers is a board game for two players that involve diagonal moves of uniform game pieces and mandatory captures by jumping over opponent pieces. This game is developed from alquerque. Over the years, as the game reached more popularity, it evolved in different countries, and that’s why you can notice a few variations in these games from place to place.

English draughts or American checkers and Russian draughts are the most popular forms of the checker. In 1885, the first world championship in international checker began and took place in France. You can play this game on an 8×8 checkerboard. You can also find yourself playing this game on a 10×10 or a 12×12 checkerboard, depending on the type of checker you play.

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Backgammon

Backgammon is the world’s third oldest board game found. Archaeologists located a gameboard in the ancient city of Shahr-e Sukhteh in Iran, which resembled the game of Backgammon in 2004. This game was found more than 5000 years back in ancient Mesopotamia. In this theory, it should have been the oldest game in the world. But, it is believed that this game originated around 3000 BCE. In that regard, this game has made it to the top three but is not the oldest board game in the world.

what's the oldest board game in the world

This game is made of ebony and features sixty markers made of turquoise and agate. And it has a pair of dice.

Like most board games, this game is also played between two players. Each player will play with 15 pieces. The board of Backgammon will have 24 triangles. And you have to move your pieces following the rules of the game. You have to carry all your pieces out of the board to win. This is the main motive of the game.

This game is also top-rated in the world. This game is known by many different names as well. If you couldn’t recognize this game by its name, backgammon, you might recognize it by its other terms. This game is known as Nard, Gul Bara, and Tapa. Do you know any of these terms for this game?

Mehen

Mehen is the world’s fourth oldest board game. This game is related to a snake god in Egyptian civilization. This game is one of the earliest examples of a multi-player board game. Two or more two people can play this game. This game was played in the times of the Predynastic Period through the end of the Old Kingdom. A mehen game board was found in King Peribsen’s tomb, dating way back to 2770 – 2650 BCE.

oldest board game

Mehen is the name of a snake god. The earliest mention of mehen can be found in the Coffin Texts. The mehen game is shaped like a coiled snake. Anywhere between two to six players can play this game. This game needed to be played on a spiral shape snake board with two different kinds of pieces. The matter of sorrow is that you won’t be able to find this game anywhere now. You can’t even find any versions of this game now.

We don’t know much about this mysterious game. The mysterious thing about this game is that we don’t know the relationship between deity and mehen. And the rules and methods of playing this game are unknown as well.

Royal game of UR

The royal game of UR is the world’s fifth oldest game. This game originated in ancient Mesopotamia or modern-day Iraq. It was reckoned that this game was founded between 2600 to 2400 BCE. It is civilization’s one of the earliest board games. And it is still prevalent.

oldest board games

It did not become extinct in these periods. This game is still played across the world. In this game, there are two players, and they play against each other. This board game is also a strategic board game that has 20 squares. The main motive is that you need to get pass through the squares. This game is an entertaining game to play.

An inscription knew this board game’s rules of a cuniform that found that discerns the laws. And then, a modern version of the cuniform was released. These are a few of the rarest board games still being played by the same rules. This game can be played online as well.

GO

Go board game is the world’s sixth oldest board game. The origin of the GO board game is in China. This game is known as Weiqi in China. The name “go” came from Japan. And this game is viral in Japan.

It is still pretty popular in China and also in some other countries.

It is believed that this game was founded somewhere around 2000 to 2100 BCE. If you are curious about the exact history of this game’s invention, according to the legends, Weiqi was invented by the ancient Chinese Emperor Yao (2356–2255 BCE) to enlighten his son, Danzhu, and teach him discipline, concentration, and balance.

what is the oldest board game

The popularity of this game grew throughout East Asia. In the 1970s, sufficient advances in this game were made in Japan. This game is viral in many countries, but a different name knows in different places. There are many terms for this game other than go and weiqi. This game is also known as Weiqi, Igo, Paduk, Baduk, and so on.

The game originated in China, but it seems more prevalent in East Asian countries. This game is mostly practiced in East Asian countries. Two players play this game. You will need a total of 361 stones to play this game. It takes a pretty decent amount of time to play this game. And it is a strategic game that you need to play very wisely.

Nine Men’s Morris

The Nine Men’s Morris is the world’s seventh oldest board game. This game is ancient. It is so old that the time and the place of this game’s originations aren’t confirmed. One of the earliest known boards for this game was found around 1400 BCE while cutting onto the temple’s roofing slabs at Kurna in Egypt. However, there is disagreement over the temple slabs’ age.

what is the oldest known board game?

This game is surprisingly pretty popular. Priests and monks mostly play this game. This game was viral in Ancient Rome because many boards are carved onto roman buildings. But dating the boards is challenging because of the exposure of the building. This game has spread all across Europe and is very popular in Europe. Many priests and monks play this game to this date. It is still widely played among priests and monks.

The rules of this game have not changed much since it was recorded. The authorities have stayed pretty much the same with a little amount of variation. So, you can enjoy this game as it was originally.

Chess

Hearing chess, you might feel that chess is an ancient game. And everybody pretty much assumes that chess is a rather old game. But compared to all the games on this list, it is not that old. It has achieved the world’s eighth most senior board game title, but it is relatively new compared to these other board games.

There is no confirmation on the origin of this game. But many historians believe this chess originated in India during the Gupta Emperor around the 6th century AD. But some historians disagree with this theory and think that this game originated in China.

what is the world's oldest board game

Earlier, this game was known as chaturanga in India. And chaturanga featured four divisions of the military. They were infantry, cavalry, elephantry, and chariotry. Eventually, as time passed, these game pieces turned into modern-day chess pieces such as pawns, knights, bishops, and rooks.

This game reached extreme popularity. This game is now popular worldwide. All know it.

Nowadays, there are very few people who don’t know chess. The rules of this game also evolved as the days passed, and the modern rules of this game were formed around the 15th century in Europe.

Games are entertaining and essential for us too. And board games are one of those wonders which have made our lives better and more enjoyable. From the prehistoric period to this present world, board games were always there. Every day, new games are getting invented for our entertainment’s sake. We play the game and feel fresh and fair. Playing games improve your mental and physical health. And board games mainly help improve our mental health and the sharpness of our brain.

Everyone loves and enjoys a board game. And in this Info, I have covered the world’s oldest board games. Thank you for reading this article; I hope this article was helpful for you.

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