5,000-year-old game pieces found in Turkey

A series of small stones uncovered in a Turkish burial ground almost 5,000 years old may be the world oldest board game pieces, according to a report in Discovery News.

The black, blue, green, red and white stones were unearthed in a burial ground in southeastern Turkey.

"Some depict pigs, dogs and pyramids, others feature round and bullet shapes," said Haluk Sağlamtimur of Ege University in İzmir, Turkey. "We also found dice as well as three circular tokens made of white shell and topped with a black round stone."

Similar stones have been uncovered in Iraq and Syria but were believed to be counting stones because they were scattered individually.

"On the contrary, our gaming pieces were found all together in the same cluster," he said. "It's a unique finding, a rather complete set of a chess-like game. We are puzzling over its strategy."

The researchers don't yet know what the ancient game was, but Sağlamtimur said that, "According to the distribution, shape and numbers of the stone pieces, it appears that the game is based on the number four."

More from Polygon

Hearthstone - Plague Quarter gameplay video

  • A guided video tour of an Unreal Tournament map

  • Freedom Planet gameplay video

  • Adventure Time trailer

  • Hearthstone: Naxxramas Overview

Latest Discussions

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.