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The Royal Game of Ur – The Oldest Playable Game

“The board lay face upwards in the soil.” Such a simple start to something that is quite amazing. I have shared before with you that I love the artifacts of history best when they are something that was used commonly. Items like shoes, clothing, cups, and games represent individuals living life. The below image is the actual board which was made between 2600 BC to 2400 BC.

Royal Game of Ur

The below video is about the Game of Ur, or the Royal Game of Ur. There existed in the ancient land of Sumer a city named Ur. It is in modern day Iraq. It is this same Ur that tradition has Abraham left and ended up eventually in Canaan. It is very possible – perhaps likely – that Abraham played this game.

Here’s the part that is very interesting to me.

We have found other ancient games but we have no idea how they were played. With The Royal Game of Ur we found a cuneiform tablet that actually contained rules of how to play. It even included how you can bet on the game and gamble just right, or perhaps settle a dispute, winner takes all.

The game is older than pachisi, older than chess and it is even older than backgammon.


Below is a pretty convincing version of the game of Ur you can buy from Amazon. As soon as they mentioned in the video that replicas have been made I quickly went and found one.

Watch the above video, understand the history you will be a part of then maybe you will want one of your own. If you get one send me a photo!

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