Finding new games can be hard when you’re stuck at home self-isolating. But a team of archeologists at the University Museum of Bergen discovered a new (old) game that is almost two millennia old! How cool is that?
As reported by Kotaku , the crew “excavated a site in Norway last month, and among the pots and glass they found there was also something a lot cooler: the remains of a board game dating back 1700 years. They found 18 double-sided pieces, or tokens, and one die, which rather than being the squat, cube shape we’re used to was an elongated, skinny rod. The game was found in an Early Iron Age grave cairn at Ytre Fosse, in Western Norway, and is thought to have been both inspired by the Roman game Ludus latrunculorum, while also serving as a predecessor of a more famous Viking age game Hnefatafl.”
If you’re familiar with either of those archaic games then you’ll be one step ahead of the rest of your competitors!
University Museum of Bergen
It’s always intriguing to see the origins of things that we love. While this game looks miles away from our favorites, it’s an awesome artifact. There’s also a chance that we may get a playable version at some point. Both Hnefatafl and Ludus latrunculorum have been quite widely played since their discovery. How do you think this game would have been played? Would you want to play it if you could? We would definitely give this unexpected die a roll if we had the chance. With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we’re open to unconventional ways of entertaining ourselves. And what better way to entertain ourselves than by playing an ancient game we’d never even seen before today?
If you need us we’ll be carving some pieces and putting our gamemaster hats on!
Header Image: University Museum of Bergen