This category includes the board for the "Game of Ur". Gaming boards found include objects made of wood with inlaid shell and lapis designs, as well as etched lines on mud bricks. These boards date to the first dynasty of Ur.  The game was played with 14 markers, 7 black and 7 white with three tetrahedral dice and a board with 20 squares.  It may be a predecessor to modern day Backgammon. Bricks with the game board etching are tagged in both categories. 

Objects: Gaming Board Export: JSON - XML - CSV

Object U Number Museum Number (UPM Date Reg Number) Museum Number (BM Registration Number) Museum Number (UPM B-number) Description (Catalog Card)
10478A (none) (none) (none) Gaming-Board. With men and dice. [A] The board is of the usual shape with vertical borders of shell and red stone strips: round the edge a mosaic of minute tesserae in blue, red, and white. The squares were of the original wood which formed the body of the board, each square inlaid with 5 eyes of shell having red or blue centres, except for two which are squares of shell inlaid with a flower rosette having red and blue petals: the squares are divided by narrow ivory strips inlaid with red and blue dots. The wood has perished and has been replaced with plaster of paris. Under one end of the board were found the men in 2 piles: there are [C] 7 white and [B] 7 black, the latter of shell inlaid with 5 white spots, the former of shell engraved with animal scenes, the details and the background filled in with black. Under the other end of the board was [D] a set of six dice of white shell, solid triangles, having blue dots at 2 of the 4 points of each: scattered in the neighborhood was a [E] second set of lapis with gold points, of which only 4 were found. Found behind the chariot.
10557 (none) (none) (none) Gaming-board of silver, the face composed of shell plaques engraved with mythological scenes & set in lapis frames
11162A (none) (none) (none) (A) Gaming-board. Set in silver. Shell plaques engraved with lapis borders engraved with animal scenes, except for 2 in rosettes. Only part of it was found, giving in all: 13 plaques of which 6 were still in their setting and 7 loose: these have been reset, those in original order in the top 2 rows, the rest below, and one rosette piece omitted. Orig. W. 120mm(?); plaques 32 x 40mm; 35mm square. With this must go: (B) Gaming pieces, of white shell, square with engraved scenes, in all 9 and one half piece. (C) Gaming pieces, circular, of balck shale with 5 white dots, diam. 25mm, 3 in all. (D) one white disk with blue spot. (E) Small balls of lapis, 8 in all. (F) 23 small white balls (these are perhaps counters)? (G) 3 lapis dice, of usual solid triangle with inlay dots at 2 points. (H) 6 square men, black and white spots. (NB: Some of the gaming pieces B & C were found in Chamber B.) [I] [Not assigned] (J) [J, L-M] 3 slender rods, square in section, of ivory (?) with engraved patterns on one edge and concentric circles on the other. L. 65mm, W. 4mm (K) in the inside of the board (a box) was a complete set of men, 7 white and 7 black, the former with animal scenes, the latter with 5 white dots.
1160 (none) (none) (none) Stone game board. Flat stone with cup-like hollows (7mm deep or less) in rough patterns, on both sides. [drawing 2:5]
18117 32-40-140 (none) (none) Stone object. Grey steatite (?). Rather fiddle shaped, flat, the face decorated with incised rosettes and concentric circles, the sides with guilloches, the back unfinished -- two concentric circles and an attempt to connect them with a guilloche faintly scratched. On the top originally rose minute figures delicately carved in the round of a man and two bulls: of them only the feet and hooves are left.
18298 (none) (none) (none) Fragment of gaming board. Bitumen. Punched holes in the surface, some surrounded by circles of short radial lines (there are a good deal obliterated by rubbing) Roughly done. [drawing 1:1]
6013 (none) (none) (none) Baked brick game board square incisions on one face. Design scratched in after baking. [design 1:2]
6124 (none) (none) (none) Gaming board. Fragmentary. Greyish red clay. Specially constructed for game and not as usual incised on ordinary building brick after baking. Dimension of squares 20mm by 20mm. E. [drawing]
9000 (none) 1928,1009.378 (none) Originally of wood (which has disappeared and left no trace at all), the top and edges encrusted with bone, shell, lapis and red paste tesserae set in bitumen: the bone tesserae are themselves engraved with geometrical and other patterns and inlaid with red paste and lapis. The board is in 2 unequal parts, rectangular, joined by a narrow neck: the upper part consists of 6 squares inside the border, the neck is 1 square wide and 2 long, the lower part had originally 4 rows of squares (12) and below those one or more rows of long triangular tesserae, shell and mother of pearl, with red paste triangles between them, the points of (one row of) the white tesserae pointing downwards. When found the object lay face downwards and on a slant: the upper part, nect, and 3 rows of squares of the lower part were complete, all except for one square at the bottom of the 4th row there was left there in position only a broken corner of a square. The broken square and 3 others, and also a number of triangles, were found separately in the dirt in front and below, but part of a row of white triangles (the red paste was reduced to powder) lay points upwards and face outwards against the back of the board: clearly the latter had been broken and doubled back: the tesserae at the line of the break had sprung and been dislodged. [drawing 1:5]
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Parent Terms

Games and Music > Gaming Board

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British Museum Semantic Web Collection Online