Minoan Games and Game Boards

Book Details

Author  Niklas Hillbom
Publisher  VDM Verlag Dr. Müller
Publication Date   September 20, 2011
ISBN  3639111230
Pages  368

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The old, world-wide phenomenon of playing board games has received little attention among scholars studying the ancient cultures. This thesis collects and analyses game-related material from Bronze Age Crete, defines the field of research and examine gaming as part of social history. The book starts with a history of research of Eastern Mediterranean games and game boards and then analyses three types of archaeological material connected to games. First, the cup-holes made on pavement slabs at public, multi-purpose areas, such as street corners and courtyards, are investigated. Then the elaborate Knossos game board provides a new understanding for its details, layout and logic. Finally, all kinds of small objects are investigated, e.g. markers, pieces, dice and lots. The game-related finds can also highlight other aspects of the Minoan society; the public and private spheres, connections to ritual and religion, etc. We have a local production of gaming material, with various dimensions of foreign influence. These influences often came from Egypt, but little seems to have continued to the Greek mainland.

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